Michael Judge has categorically denied any involvement in match fixing after two bookmakers in his native Ireland claimed there were suspicious betting patterns for his first round contest at last month’s Maplin UK Championship.
Celtic Bookmakers and Paddy Power contacted World Snooker, the game’s governing body, after claiming large amounts were placed on Judge to lose 9-0 or 9-1 to Joe Perry at York a month ago.
Perry duly won 9-1, which was a 40/1 shot, although the bets with Celtic were foiled because they were put in a double with James Wattana to beat Mike Dunn and Dunn prevailed 9-5.
Bets with Paddy Power were doubled with Black Jack Ketchum to win the 2007 World Hurdle and Teofilo to win the 2,000 Guineas .
Paddy Power spokesman John Hartnett said: “We saw some unusual activity on the Perry-Judge match and it has left us with liabilities of around EURO40,000 going on to Cheltenham and Newmarket .
“As we have seen unusual betting patterns in previous games involving one of these players, we have made the decision to no longer offer betting on matches involving this player for the foreseeable future.”
But world no.43 Judge, who on Monday qualified for the final stages of the Welsh Open after beating Malta ’s Tony Drago 5-2 at Prestatyn, insisted he knew nothing of any supposed betting coup.
He said: “What happened was nothing to do with me.
“Basically, I had a disastrous preparation for the tournament. My girlfriend was in hospital all week and on the night before I was supposed to play all the flights were cancelled, so I was lucky to get over at all the next day.
“I only just made it and by the time I got there I was a spent force after the week I’d had, having barely slept.
“It was terrible to get home and read a story like that after losing. People should look more into what’s happened before they go making allegations.
“A lot of people didn’t know the inside story but my conscience is clear. I haven’t done anything wrong and I’m just going to keep playing snooker.”
Perry, a UK Championship semi-finalist in 2004 and 2005, played superbly in the match, making a century and five half century breaks.
Judge, 31, has qualified for the final stages of this season’s first five ranking events, although he is yet to win a match at a main venue.
His best performance as a pro came at the 2004 Grand Prix in Preston where he reached the semi-finals.