[author: Jonathan Salt]
On 25 September 2013 the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) suspended snooker player Stephen Lee for 12 years after he was found guilty of match fixing. Lee was also ordered to pay a contribution towards £40,000 of legal costs.
The sanction follows an investigation largely based on evidence of suspicious betting activity provided by the Gambling Commission linking Lee to a series of bets placed during 2008 – 2009.
For the former world number five, the 12 year suspension is to run from 12 October 2012, the date that an interim suspension was imposed on Lee, up until 12 October 2024. Had the incidents taken place today Lee would be facing a mandatory lifetime ban under the ‘zero tolerance’ disciplinary regime introduced in 2010.
In a press release, the Gambling Commission’s Director of Regulatory Operation, Nick Tofiluk said that “the Stephen Lee case also sends a severe warning to British-based players in all sports. If you seek to benefit from match fixing you should expect to pay the price.”