According to today's Daily Mirror, Ronnie O’Sullivan has alleged that the draw for the first round of the 888.com World Championship was fixed so that he would have to play Ding Jun Hui.

In an interview with ZOO Magazine, O’Sullivan said: “My first thought was ‘that’s a hard one’. My next was ‘someone’s fixed the draw’.

“I’ve had Marco Fu, Stephen Maguire twice and now Ding in the first round. It’s definitely fixed. Whoever is doing that is trying to stitch me up.”

There is a suggestion that O'Sullivan was joking but he must have known these comments would be reported.

The draw was made the day before it was televised on BBC’s Breakfast programme by its presenters Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams.

World Snooker had two of their staff present to ensure it was conducted honestly. I personally have no doubt that it was.

However, as I said at the time, they left themselves open to such allegations because it wasn’t done live.

Five major bookmakers even suspended betting because of fears that those who knew the draw – which turned out to be far more than just the Breakfast team – would have a bet.

“It was 100% genuine,” a World Snooker spokesman said this morning. “The balls were drawn randomly by two BBC presenters, representatives from 888.com and World Snooker were there, and there was an independent auditor.”

If World Snooker invited such a claim by the way they chose to conduct the draw, they also invited further trouble from O’Sullivan by not taking a harder line after his York walkout.

You’ll recall he was taken out to lunch by its chairman, Sir Rodney Walker, who has written to the disciplinary committee pleading leniency for the unpredictable former world champion.

He also permitted O’Sullivan to snub the media at the Saga Insurance Masters. At the time I wrote: “It will blow up in his [Sir Rodney's] face at some point and, when it does, you won't find a single journalist who has any sympathy whatsoever for him.”

That day has come.


Anonymous said...

I think, in the spirit of "audietur et altera pars", we should wait for the statement of Ronnie before we make any judgement. I am not convinced at all that Ronnie's words indeed contained any serious allegations. Considering what I know about ZOO Magazine, it may well have happened that a joke was misinterpreted or his words were dragged out of cohesion. He should be given a chance to explain himself before anyone condems him.

Dave H said...

I wasn't there, but if it was a joke then Ronnie should have made that clear. I do know for sure though that he said the words that have been quoted because I know someone who was at the interview (not the person who wrote the story).

He's been around long enough to know that if you make that sort of statement in front of journalists it will be reported.

I would also add that various controversial comments he has made over the years have gone unreported by the regular snooker press.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Ronnie will make a statement about what he has said. He pretty much does what he likes and it gets publicity.

I think he'll answer questions about it at his post match press conference or, with the BBC prior to his first round match. Unless, he re-instates his media ban again.

It all sounds tongue-in-cheek to me - it is Zoo magazine.

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Ronnie doesn't always engage his brain before opening his mouth.
His latest comments bring the game into disrepute but it's unlikely anything will be done about them.

Anonymous said...

What "audietur at altera pars"?!..."Altera pars" has already spoken! You mean that that particular "altera pars" (hahaha, does he know what that precious Latin means!!!...) has to speak twice???...(A double risk of low IQ assertions?!...).

Personally, I am very, very tired of all these fans who are so ready to look for the most far-fetched and ridiculous excuse everytime this player says or does something reprehensible - which is pretty often.

Yes, Mr Hendon, that day has come. And will come again.


Anonymous said...

Sorry for the mistakes. Serious remark or bad joke, it was totally uncalled for.


Anonymous said...

CJW, "audietur et altera pars" has a clear meaning here, and it has nothing to do with Ronnie "speaking twice" (and yes, I know the meaning of this "precious Latin", since I am able to read without any difficulty both ancient and medieval classics in original Latin).

A verdict has been made by a party on Ronnie, or a verdict against him, to be more precise. The other party, the accused one, Ronnie, has had no chance to speak or to explain. Even if the case is about an allegation Ronnie made verbally, he should have the right to answer. I am not saying this as a fan of him whatever, but as an attorney-at-law by profession. Obviously, he must be given the possibilty to defend himself. And equally obviously, I admit, he should not have spoken such wild things.

Regards, Petronius

Anonymous said...

Petronius, we don't understand each other: O'Sullivan spoke first, the WSA replied so why should O'Sullivan speak twice? He accused,the WSA defended itself. Mr O'Sullivan speaks too much anyway and as I said he probably doesn't understand anything of our precious Latin. Much less does he probably know who was the famous ancient satirist whose name you have assumed. lol

Oh yes: I too am able to read without any difficulty both ancient and medieval classics in original Latin. Or in French, Italian, German and Portuguese.

Anonymous said...

CJW, indeed, we are on different grounds in this case, but nevertheless I agree with you that Ronnie should learn how to keep his mouth shut.

Also, I have to tell you, I am always happy when I meet someone who remembers the venerable Petronius Arbiter and his excellent Satyricon. In our age, unfortunately, there are more Trimalchios than ever. So, glad to get acquinted with you, CJW!

All the best, Petronius

Anonymous said...

lol! Trimalchios... Right you are, Petronius. Unfortunately...

(But I used to have a cat named Fortunata lol)



Anonymous said...

And I can say the same thing: glad to get acquinted with you!

Vive ac vale!