O’Sullivan backtracks on fixing claims
LONDON (AP) — World snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has backtracked on his claims that fixing is common in the sport, saying his comments were based on “rumors from many years ago” and were taken out of context.
After former No. 5 Stephen Lee was found guilty on Monday of fixing seven matches, O’Sullivan — a five-time world champion and snooker’s major box-office pull — tweeted “I’ve heard there’s many more players who throw snooker matches.”
The Englishman was threatened with disciplinary action by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, but O’Sullivan released a statement on Thursday saying his comments “were an instant reaction to an issue which I feel strongly about.”
O’Sullivan says snooker has been cleaned up since Hearn became chairman in 2009 and pledged to report any fixing fears to World Snooker in future.