Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from the Bahrain Championship.

This is his statement:

"With a great deal of regret I have decided to pull out of the Bahrain tournament.

"I have been very run down recently due to my hectic playing and promotional schedule, and my doctor has advised me to rest for a couple of weeks.

"I realise it is not good for me or the tournament if I am way below my best and don’t want to run the risk of exacerbating the problem and making myself more ill, potentially jeopardising the rest of the season, so I think it is right for me to take my doctor’s advice in the circumstances.

"I am very sorry not to be competing in Bahrain as I am sure the tournament will be a great success and I look forward to taking part in competitions there in the future."

I'm afraid this new tournament has turned into something of a farce.

You'll recall that Mark Selby, John Higgins and Ding Junhui were unable to enter because of the clash of dates with the Premier League, which they had already signed contracts to play in.

What does Steve Davis do now? He has a walkover into the last 16 but if he wins that match he will have to withdraw to play in the League.

How does anyone explain any of this to the folks in Bahrain?


Rich P said...

So in theory Steve Davis will get a bye into the last 16. However, isn't Davis planning on pulling out? therefore the winner of Dominic Dale and Marco Fu will get a quarter-final spot - bonus for them!

andy said...

Jeez, this tournament is turning into a farce. I think WPBSA expected ALL participants to turn up, even those playing in the Premier League. Just goes to show that the players are starting feel more comfortable ignoring unreasonable demands from the WSA/WPBSA.

Should be interesting to see how all this pans out with planning of tournaments over the next couple of years. :o)


Anonymous said...

sick my arse!!

Matt@PSB said...

Interesting on Davis, I assumed that he was going to withdraw like the other three. If he is going to play then why didn't the other three players play early on before withdrawing? Bizarre.

Anonymous said...

This is yet another case that shows that O'Sullivan believes that he is bigger then the game and can do whatever he likes because he will not be punished for it.
For anyone who disagrees,remind me what punishment did he recieve when he walked out on a UK quarter-final.

Monique said...

I know this post is useless. I'll still write it. Ronnie O'Sullivan suffers bipolar disorder and depressions for years. This state has been diagnosed and is well known to WPBSA. He has been carrying a lot of promotional work and got under a lot of pressure recently. I'm not surprised he cracks. It was obvious it was coming the way he played and reacted in the Shanghai Final and the GP. He isn't mentally robust enough for the kind of life and expectations he has to face.
When he walked out in UK, he just couldn't cope and created a lot of problems for himself and others. He was unfit to play but he tried and it was disaster. Now, he pulls out well in advance with medical note and aplogies. Isn't that better? But whatever he does he will be wrong in the eyes of some.
It has nothing to do with PL: he doesn't play on that week. It has nothing to do with being "greater than the game" neither. It has all to do with the dilemna of being the biggest draw in the game and a mentally ill and fragile person. His health comes first and rightly so.

Anonymous said...

He tried to get appearance money out of World Snooker to play

Presumably they said no

Anonymous said...

its selective bipolar...almost exclusively when there is an overseas tournament. more garbage excuses!

Anonymous said...

its selective bipolar...almost exclusively when there is an overseas tournament. more garbage excuses!

Dave H said...

Can I make a request as I can't monitor this 24/7?

Can people please not make wild accusations or statements they can't prove on here


Billy said...

I'm with Monique. When Ronnie plays like in the Masters 2005 final, everyone thinks he's the genius. When he can't cope, everyone thinks he's the clown. He's not the first artist to be looked upon like that.

His statement feels sincere enough for me. Hope he gets better.

Anonymous said...

Surely Dave - the fact that you invite 'comment' means you will get people speculating. As O'Sullivan is the biggest name in the sport people tend to have strong opinions about him, and are using your 'comment' area to state them.

Anonymous said...

Speculate by all means, but don't libellate! We don't want Dave to take this site down, do we?

Black_cat from TSF said...

Dear anonymous commentator who said "almost exclusively when there is an overseas tournament",
May I remind you of the Shanghai Masters, where Ronnie reached the final and played some very good snooker to get there?
When he pulls out mid-match there's mayhem and chaos and some would say rightly so. When he pulls out well in advance, citing medical reasons, same applies.
Maybe he should have followed Mr. Hendon's advice regarding Dott: break off and concede.
End sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

It must be a coincidence that Ronnie withdraws just from overseas tournaments!
Davis would be mad to withdraw.He needs the ranking points.
Ronnie has problems which he hides behind when it suits him.
The WPBSA have ballsed this up from the start.

Anonymous said...

bc, the first word of mine that youve quoted is "almost"...that means not all. so well done on finding one of the ones included in the list that suits your view ;)

i was stating my opinion on what i find too common to be coincidence. maybe it is, maybe it isnt. i cant prove one way or another, but i know what i believe....

i didnt say hes not got a right to withdraw if unwell, so...erm i hope he is better soon. and hope the tournament is a success

Janie Watkins said...

Personally I'm not surprised at this statement from Ronnie.

His comments and demeanour at last week's Prem League suggested he wasn't in the best frame of mind.

He stated then that the League was okay because he didn't have to stay away from home.

It's been obvious for a long time he's not a good traveller and doesn't like to be away from home (his comfort zone) for too long.

However it does pose a big issue now for Steve Davis. I'm not saying he wouldn't have beaten Ronnie in Bahrain, but the odds were against it, giving him plenty of time to get back for his League commitment on Thursday night, but now what does he do.

I would suggest he withdraws at this stage so that the opponents get a Bye to the Last 16, rather than potentially to the quarter finals.

I dread to think though what sort of impact all these non-entries and withdrawals will have on potential host countries and sponsors.

Anonymous said...

I would be quite entertained to see Barry Hearn sue Steve Davis for missing a league night! What a shame this has happened... hope Ronnie feels up to competing in the UK championship.

andy said...

At least it's given me something to write about on greenbaize. :o) I'll try to get round to it this week.

The thing is, the tournaments are just not attractive enough to the top players. You can win double the money of some ranking events when playing in the Premier League, win a lot of money in the Championship League, and I think the World Series will go from strength to strength where players will be able to win a lot of money there as well.

This is the beginnings of competitive tours forming and top players being able to shrug off the odd tournament that's causing logistical problems.

The sooner the better when the day comes when it's no big deal if top stars drop out of major tournaments, like in golf and tennis.

The issue here isn't Ronnie dropping out or whether he's using a sick note to cry wolf (we've all done it getting out of school runs etc), ....the issue is several top stars dropping out!

As Janie says, the repercussions will be interesting, the WSA and going to have to get off their backsides and prove themselves to be a really attractive and competitive option. No more WPBSA monopoly! Great for snooker! Painful in the short term, excellent in the long term!


Anonymous said...

Why did Steve Davis enter the Bahrain event at all, or, for that matter, why did Selby, Higgins, and Ding not enter and pull-out after playing a match like Davis has? Very odd.

I do think though that all players should be able to pick and choose which events to play in, as in tennis and golf.

I also think the standard ranking event format is a sham and over protects the top 16. We should go back to the format of the mid/late 90's - round one seeds 33-64 v seeds 65-96, round two seeds 1-32 v 32 round round one winners. More chance for the lower ranked players to player higher quality opposition and make greater progress up the ranks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this piece of news

The World Snooker website is an absolute f***ing shambles

This news is nowhere to be seen on the front page

When you click on venue/format for Bahrain it takes you to the format for the qualifiers!

I never thought it could be as bad as before but somehow they've managed it

Anonymous said...


"The issue here isn't Ronnie dropping out or whether he's using a sick note to cry wolf (we've all done it getting out of school runs etc), ....the issue is several top stars dropping out!"

imho that isnt the issue here at all.

from what i "know":

the bahrain dates werent announced when the pl dates were concreted.

bahrain gets concreted and it clashes with a pl date and so affects some players. those players are contracted to pl that night and do not want sued by pl connections.

now, ros has pulled out the same tournament due to.....illness

the only reason there is any connection is due to an add in on tournaments which clashes with an already established series. if ws had not done this thered be as close to a full house as any other tournament, barring....illness. imho

Monique said...

bad health time for the players ... http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/nov/04/snooker

look at the last sentence.
Now what next? Will Dott be able to compete (not kidding or mocking here. He suffered depression and a broken wrist. So it isn't that unlikely ...)

Anonymous said...

i still fail to see the connection other than its the same tournament

the 4 pl players are in the situation due to a changing schedule and now excuses are being bandied about due to ws not having their schedule concreted at the start of the season (and then altering it where it collides with an established non ws tournament)

ronnie isnt playing cause he is ill

i thought this section was about ronnie being, ...ill

(ok mons point about davis..."ill" but that is IMHO not anywhere near the same as the situation he and the other guys were in werent his fault. theres no speculation he just doesnt like going abroad or other similar... imho of course

Anonymous said...

If Ronnie is not well then fair enough, and if he has a certified doctor's note then that is the end of the matter or are we now questioning his doctor.

However what I will state is that as the no. 1 attraction on the circuit and as the World no. 1 and most importantly as the current Champion of the World he has a duty to help promote the game. The game has been very kind to Ronnie sometimes it doesn't hurt to give something back. World Snooker is trying to promote the game abroad and no matter what we think of them sometimes a little help from players wouldn't go amiss.

Also if I was the promoter, backer, sponsor etc of a major tournament I wouldn't be happy if the main attraction pulled out virtually on the eve of competition. Let's not forget posters, scoreboards, programmes etc. may will already be produced.

Anonymous said...

i was not questioning his doctor.

if i go to my doctor and tell him im exhausted through work (or stressed out through work for example) i dont know how the doctor would know if i am being truthful or not so id expect him to take it i was being truthful

scott said...

We make much in this country that in US sports such as basketball and american football the season end winners are crowned "world champions", yet they are just north American based competitions.

Of the 96 main tour players this year, there are, I think, 12 who are not British or Irish.

For those who look forward to the days when players can pick and choose their events like tennis and golf - dream on.

This is a GB&I centric sport, where one man is the biggest draw of them all. Bigger than the sport? Who knows? But it does remind me of athletics in the mid 80s, when Carl Lewis realised punters were turning up to see him, and so successfully negotiated a cut of the gate money for himself.

A question here. If this was a non-ranking event, could the organisers in Bahrain pay appearance fees to certain players?

Sure snooker has been good for O'Sullivan; but increasingly, (World) snooker is now relying on one man to draw in sponsors and money.

No-one should be having a go at O'Sullivan. It's the shambolic organisation by the governing body that's at fault.

andy said...

A governing body elected by the players...

Anonymous said...

how/why are WS at fault for putting on a tournament that ROS could attend but isnt due to illness?

(they are at fault IMHO for timing it against the PL which had concreted dates before WS...that isnt relevant to ROS situation here)

stuartfanning said...

O'Sullivan is in a comfortable position as far as ranking points go, and we know that he doesn't like playing in tournaments outside the UK. Given Bahrain is a new tournament and several top players won't be playing because of Premier League committments, I think O'Sullivan's non attendence is disloyal to the sport. The number of tournaments these days are few compared with Snookers heydays so this makes his decision worse. Whenever there's an overseas tournament there is always speculation on whether O'Sullivan will go or not. This cannot be right and the Snooker powers that be need to do something about it for the good of the game.

Claus Christensen said...

Why be so hard on Ronnie, sick or not? If you don't compete you lose ranking points. If you stay away long enough you drop out of the top16, thus requiring qualification matches. And so on.

The penalty, if one is desired, is is built into the ranking system as points are not awarded to those out of competition. Why the big fuzz?

With regards to events clashing I believe the Bahrain tournament was the culprit in that matter. Right?

Anonymous said...


fans buying tickets and arranging time off work and travel to see him?


Black_cat from TSF said...

fans buying tickets and arranging time off work and travel to see him?
So professional sportsmen are not allowed to get sick anymore? And before quoting so-called "precedents" regarding Ronnie and the <3 (three) tournaments he has not entered in the last 4 seasons or so, namely the 2005 China Open, due to bad health, the 2006 Malta Cup which clashed with some IPT tournament that was consequently cancelled (that wasn't very smart and Ronnie himself admitted to it afterwards) and the 2007 Shanghai Masters, due to a bad back, I'd stick to the "innocent until proven guilty" approach and choose not to cast doubt over a medical note.
I travelled for 17 hours by car and plane and have saved up for months to see Ronnie, Davis, Hendry and Perry play in the League in Plymouth last month. If any of more of them hadn't been able to attend and play, that would have been the risk taken by me. Tough luck, that's it, ticket money back and two days of sightseeing around Plymouth. What's the big deal? There's always a risk, players are not robots, they do get sick, accidents happen, ear infections, sprained/broken wrists, food poisonings...you name it, they've got it.
And exhaustion is pretty serious a situation to be taken into account.

Anonymous said...

i didnt say he wasnt allowed to get sick.

Anonymous said...

It's entirely possible he was ill all of these times

However you won't find a single person on the circuit who believes it

Anonymous said...

i 100% agree 11-11am anon

it is possible and folk can have an opinion either way.

if i went to my doctor and told him or her i was exhausted (and stressed) through work id expect him or her to advise a complete rest.

if id told my workmates that i didnt like travelling to the away jobs and i got ill during a lot of them i think my workmates would imagine i was pulling wool over their eyes and using a doctors note as cover.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if all the girlies defending him know that he asked for appearance money to go

Do you think his non-appearance could in any way be related to not getting any?

And if he's 'run down' why is he playing exhibitions later this month in Germany and the Czech Republic? Apart from for the money, of course

Dave H said...

Let's keep it friendly, shall we?

It is certainly true that Ronnie's withdrawal has been met with general scepticism within the game

It is equally true that nobody other than his doctor has examined him

Black_cat from TSF said...

@ anonymous 11.27 AM

I wonder if all the girlies defending him know that he asked for appearance money to go
Well, I'm a blinkered "girlie" (oh, by the way, I don't resent the term at all, I only watch the game to hyperventilate when Ronnie climbs the table for a difficult shot and I'm also convinced snooker started in 1993 *roll eyes*) and I want solid proof of that, not just hearsay. Solid proof from a solid source, as a WS source, a reliable journalist, Ronnie's accountant...Until that is provided by other means than an anonymous posting on a blog...it remains just what it is. Unfounded.

Monique said...

The exghibitions are three weeks from now and there isn't at all the same level of pressure. Despite some's opinions on the man maybe he doesn't want to let down the fans or ... John Higgins. Plus if he is to defend his UK title it will be about time by then he starts moving again anyway.

BTW being though of as a "girlie" at nearly 54 has its bright sides ;)

Anonymous said...

he knew a week away hed be too run down to go to bahrain...as dave said there is scepticism. imho it is rightly so though nobody can prove anything. imho it is far too much coincidence that these illnesses or excuses are "needed" or happen when they are most convenient. blinkered fans might not see that, or may want to give him the benefit of doubt. ive did that before. i aint doing it again, though i aint coming on here and blatantly saying he isnt ill. he could be, but i, and many many others doubt it. as well as many not doubting

Sunflower said...

I have been a lurker for months since one of the posters here gave me the link. Since then, this blog has become my favourite among all the snooker blogs on the web I know.

Anonymous, why don't you simply accept that a doc said he should stay in his country to have a rest? Why must it be such a much-a-do about nothing, to quote my favourite dramatist. I am a little fed up with all these speculations here and elsewhere.
Btw., I enjoy being one of the blinkered groupie girlies.

Anonymous said...

i do accept it. i dont need to believe its the real reason though. its not much ado...this blog is open for opinion. im giving mine, like you are...:)

Anonymous said...

Snooker the Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear David
Not one comment was published when big John Parrott pulled out of the China open with a "bad back".

John had a lucky break getting bang fit to fulfill his BBC "horse racing" contract befor the China open finished.

Ronnie is possible keeping his "bad back policy" for a later date. Mr hey you

Soma said...

Sadly, for some of us, bipolar disorder is not a selective thing. Mood swings to the extremes that I'm sure Ronnie suffers come and go and it is almost impossible to know when things will change. Ronnie is outstanding and should be well respected for his achievements whilst struggling and suffering with a horrible disease. To call bipolar selective is a disgusting and disrespectful thing to say. Try living with it and then call it selective