Higgins fined and suspended

Higgins fined and suspended

John Higgins has been handed a six-month suspension from snooker and fined £75,000 (€91,000) after admitting breaching rules around betting.

During the two-day hearing in London which finished today, the 35-year-old Scot admitted two of the lesser charges levelled against him.

But the more serious charges of match-fixing were withdrawn.

The former world champion was suspended in May pending an investigation into allegations of frame-throwing which were made by the News of the World.

He admitted “intentionally giving the impression to others that they were agreeing to act in breach of the betting rules” and failing to report the matter promptly to the governing body, World Snooker.

However, the charges of “agreeing or offering” to accept bribes and “agreeing to engage in corrupt or fraudulent conduct” were dropped.

Higgins, suspended by the association on May 2, will be banned from the game until midnight on November 1.

He also has been ordered to pay a contribution to the costs of the hearing.

Higgins had vowed to “vigorously defend” himself in the face of the allegations in May and insisted he was “100% innocent”, saying he believed the meeting with the journalists was to arrange a series of tournaments in Ukraine.

The summary of decision laid the blame for the predicament the Scot found himself in squarely at the door of Mooney, claiming the manager had put the player in “a highly invidious position”.

Explaining the reason for the withdrawal of the more serious charges against Mooney, it read: “The association’s explanation for these withdrawals was very different.

“The association maintained that Mr Mooney had in fact intended to act fraudulently and corruptly as alleged.

“However, a last-minute argument advanced on behalf of Mr Mooney by Mr Phillips QC, based on a proper construction of the rules to which charges 1 and 2 refer had persuaded the association that it did not have sufficient prospects of proving those charges.”

It continued: “Mr Higgins was put in a highly invidious position by Mr Mooney, who was entirely responsible for Mr Higgins’ presence in Kiev and, in particular, at the meeting there on 30 April.

“Mr Higgins can be criticised for the way in which he chose to respond to the situation in which he found himself.”

More in this Section

Mourinho meets Spurs squad as new manager gears up for first gameMourinho meets Spurs squad as new manager gears up for first game

Champions Cork to face Westmeath in opening round of 2020 Ladies National Football LeagueChampions Cork to face Westmeath in opening round of 2020 Ladies National Football League

Shane Lowry hopes week's rest will help him in 'final push' for Race to Dubai titleShane Lowry hopes week's rest will help him in 'final push' for Race to Dubai title

General manager Wycherley to leave Cork CityGeneral manager Wycherley to leave Cork City


Lifestyle

It won’t come as news to mothers-to-be that they are not eating for two, as the old saying goes, but the number of extra calories needed may come as a surprise. And it’s much fewer than you might think.Eating for two: It's quality not quantity of food that matters during pregnancy

No. It is such a small word, yet at times, something many of us find difficult to utter. The inability to say no to work, friends or family can cause so much stress in our lived lives.Learning Points: Just say no, there’s power in that little word

Fiona Kelleher has set some of the works of Múscraí poets Seán Ó Riordáin and Séamus Ó Céilleachair to music, writes Pet O'ConnellPoetry and music combine in reimagining of works of Seán Ó Riordáin and Séamus Ó Céilleachair

I fear I might be getting to that stage with my daughter Joan, who is 8, whereby I am the needy one! I fear I might be getting to that stage with my daughter Joan, who is 8, whereby I am the needy one!Mum's the word: I’m the needy one... I get the kiss off from my own daughter!

More From The Irish Examiner