LONDON: England’s Stephen Lee (pictured) was given a record 12-year ban yesterday after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing, snooker’s world governing body announced.
Lee, 38, the former world number five, was found guilty by an independent tribunal last week of match-fixing charges relating to seven matches in 2008 and 2009 with the sanction imposed yesterday.
“The suspension is to be calculated from 12 October 2012, when the interim suspension was imposed. Therefore Stephen Lee will not be able to participate in snooker before 12 October 2024,” said a statement issued by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), the sport’s global governing body.
Lee, however, insisted later Wednesday he intended to appeal against the ban, saying he’d done nothing wrong.
“I’m absolutely devastated,” Lee told the BBC. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m totally innocent of this and I will be making a public statement later on, I’ve just seen my lawyer.”
The WPBSA had been seeking a life ban but disciplinary chief Nigel Mawer insisted a 12-year-punishment was effectively the same thing as he thought it unlikely Lee would return to top-level snooker.
Lee’s case is the biggest match-fixing scandal to hit snooker since Australia’s Quinten Hann was suspended for eight years in 2006 after he was caught in a sting by undercover reporters where he agreed to lose a game at the China Open in return for