The rights and wrongs of the punishment given to Ronnie O’Sullivan for his behaviour in China will be debated – indeed is being debated in the comments section of the post below this one – but that is only one issue arising from this matter.
It transpires that the fine was actually £2,750, not £3,750 as reported by 110sport. The costs of the hearing were paid for using the prize money he forfeited.
This will not be well received by the various lower ranked players who have been forced to pay costs for attending hearings on far lesser offences.
Not that we know exactly how many have done this as World Snooker’s disciplinary procedure is so shadowy it belongs in an episode of the X-Files.
We know that the disciplinary committee chairman is Jim McMahon, a long serving World Snooker board member.
There are two other people on the committee but it isn’t known who they are.
O’Sullivan didn’t actually attend the hearing but wrote to the committee promising, I suppose, never to do it again.
Times have changed. When O’Sullivan was stripped of the Irish Masters title in 1998 he turned up to face the music. A press release was then drafted and issued that same day in which the committee members were named and the punishment announced.
Belatedly, World Snooker has put a statement on their website today revealing the punishment.
Make no mistake: this was only done because the story had already appeared in the press and, indeed, on this blog.
The hearing was held on Thursday. They say they held off releasing the news because O’Sullivan had to be informed first.
Yet his management company issued a statement on Saturday, so the player obviously had been informed.
I believe that if 110sport had not sent their statement out then we would never have heard anything about it.
One interesting thing to come out of the statement, though, is that the committee considered a heavier fine but decided against it as O’Sullivan had promised to ‘work closely’ with them in the future.
Can’t see that decision back-firing at all.