Ronnie O'Sullivan has been fined £3,750 for his behaviour at a press conference at the China Open last March.

O'Sullivan, the 888.com world champion, was filmed making lewd remarks and the video was posted on the internet.

He has been docked the 700 ranking points he earned from the event and also fined the £2,750 prize money he received as a first round loser. A further £1,000 was added to the fine to cover legal costs.

However, we only know he was punished at all because his management company, 110sport, issued a statement.

There has been no such statement from World Snooker, who will now face allegations that they have attempted to cover the whole thing up.

The 110sport statement said: "Ronnie regrets what has happened and he has accepted his punishment.

"He realises he made a mistake in China, but he never intended to offend anyone. He wants to forget what happened and move forward.

"He has apologised to World Snooker, the promoter of the China Open, his fans and also to his sponsors.

"He is keen to get on with his career and continue demonstrating why he is regarded as the best player in the world."

I think many will share my view that though this incident was regrettable, it was something of a storm in a Chinese teacup.

Ronnie has since apologised and his contracts in China have not been affected.

The punishment is, in my view, about right.

But what I find incredible is that the governing body of snooker do not routinely announce the results of their disciplinary hearings as is standard practice in just about every other major sport.

What have they got to hide?


Anonymous said...

I wonder what Ronnie has to do to actually be severely punished by WS?
His actions have continually brought the game into disrepute but the "punishments" seem to be more and more lenient.
His cumulative actions surely deserve a suspension not a paltry fine and small points deduction.
Absolutely gutless.

Anonymous said...

I'm Sorry Dave but how you can say that the punishment is about right is completely beyond me. Truth is they are scared to punish him as they should in case he walks away.
He did not want to be over there, showed it in the way he played and then disgraced the Game and himself with a truly Juvenile display of smut for which ANY OTHER PLAYER would have been hung, drawn and quartered for it as I suspect you know.
Whether he would have walked or not if he was punished the way he should have been is totally irrelevant because good as he is, no one is bigger than the game. This is a complete and total cop out from the Snooker Authorities and they should hang their heads in shame. And no I am not a typical Ronnie basher, I love watching the guy play when he wants to that is, but I believe that Justice should be transparent and fair to all but we all know if any other player did this instead of Ronnie they would have been looking at a ban.

Anonymous said...

a derisory punishment. would have been far heavier for any other player and does it now set the precendence for players to do virtually anything knowing what a paltry punishment they'll receive.
Or if they are punished I'm sure their legal advisors would site this case as comparison.

Unknown said...

Oh come on. It wasn’t really that bad. Yes, he was wrong at that tournament and yes, he shouldn’t have done that. It would help if snooker fans would get just a bit more relaxed and don’t want the governing body to punish each and everything out of the players. Those are the same fans who then say that there are no characters anymore in this sport. Why should anybody show his character if he gets punished for being a character?

Anonymous said...

according to the World Snooker website 110 is no longer his management company.

Anonymous said...

as a role model and a professional ronnie knew every official public appearance would be scrutinised. He has apologised for his behaviour and this should now be left behind with a suitable punishment- fining him many thousands of pounds 20k plus- would of sent a better signal as to what behaviour is considered acceptable - docking ranking points beyond those earned in the tournament concerned would of been pointless- this was proved in 1982 when Alex Higgins was docked points and this only suceeded in giving him a falsely low ranking, unalancing the draw, and descriminating against other players who then had to face him in earlier rounds of tournaments.
Again though world snooker shoots itself and its reputation in the foot by not releasing appropriate information

Dave H said...

I realise many believe the punishment is too lenient but I'd argue the following:

1) There was no indication the Chinese sponsors and fans were in any way offended.

2) Ronnie did not offer any excuses. He admitted he had been wrong and apologised profusely.

3) There is no precedent for this sort of incident, so any fine above his prize money for the event would have been arbitary.

At the time of writing, World Snooker are still to confirm he has even been punished

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dave but your comments are a cop out.
How could the Chinese people not be offended?Did you ask any of them?
The little that was translated from forums etc seemed to indicate,at least,some were upset.
Perhaps you could have asked some during this tournament?
What excuse could Ronnie have offered this time?He has used most of them after his previous indiscretions.
The only way your argument would stand up is if this was his first offence.Unfortunately it was far from an isolated incident.No matter how great and entertaining he is on the table he has behaved disgracefully of it.
There seems to be one rule for Ronnie and another for all the other players.Surely even the most ardent Ronnie fan can see this is wrong?

Anonymous said...

What does Eric Eggert mean when he says "those are the same fans who then say that there are no characters anymore in this sport"?

No snooker fan ever says this. The only ones who say it are people looking to have a cheap shot at the game.

And O'Sullivan was not "punished for being a character". What a ridiculous suggestion.

Dave H said...

Fred - I meant the Chinese organisers and Ronnie's own sponsors. There was no damage done to the game in China whatsoever. Of course, individuals will have their own views.

What would have been an appropriate fine? - £5,000? £20,000? £50,000?

O'Sullivan is a millionnaire several times over so none of this would have hurt him as it would you or I, and would have been wildly over the top.

I agree he has been treated leniently in the past - and that's part of the problem - but I don't see it in this case.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dave in all points, punishment is OK and silence of WS is weird. And to all anonymous, who think punishment would be different for another players ... are you so sure about it? Are you sure they would have been banned? How do you know it?

Anonymous said...


The reason some of us claim that other players would have been punished more severely is simply because those are the facts.

The most recent example was Graeme Dott, who had made some ungracious comments about Ian McCulloch. In my opinion what Ronnie did was far worse than Graeme's "accusations" yet he was punished relatively severly because of it.

To my knowledge, Dott had never been reprimanded before so the punishment (as said by others as well) should have taken that into account.

In Ronnie's case, however, there have been plenty of transgressions so the punishment should reflect his past behaviour.

The problem the WSA are faced with is not only one of Ronnie's popularity, however...as Dave commented...how much money would they have to make him pay to make him "feel" it??? A multiple millionaire? I call that having to make a choice between two "wrongs".


Anonymous said...

Hang on, get your facts straight. In the end Graeme Dott was not punished at all by WPBSA over the McCulloch comments. (Nor should he have been.) However, he might well have been punished had not Snooker Scene, quite rightly, laid irrefutable evidence before WPBSA to show that the case against Dott was shaky at best.

Anonymous said...

Check out World Snooker, a statement has just been published....

Anonymous said...


As you have mentioned in a previous blog regarding the future of the Grand Prix this site is very influencial,as Sweed reports above, World Snooker have released a statement on the website.

Great final yesterday in China, looking forward to the new World Series starting in a couple of weeks.


Anonymous said...

to anonymous who answered me - please remind me what punishment was for Dott for his comments about McCulloch? From which event was he banned?

Anonymous said...

Dave and all,
I agree that a fine would mean little to Ronnie so there is no point in repeatedly fining him because:
1-He can easily afford it
2-Previous fines have not deterred him.
The problem isn't this one offence but the fact he keeps being "punished" without it making any difference.
I would ban him from one ranking event(and make sure it is a UK based one.)If he stepped out of line after that I'd ban him from the next World Championships.
The time for leniency is over.It's a shame WS would rather pursue petty complaints by board members rather than deal with serious disciplinary matters.

Anonymous said...

Dave, Eric, Dana and Oliver :

I totally agree with you. This is an appropriate punishment, Ronnie has apologised and this incident should be over now.

To others : some of you wanted a heavier fine, some would have prefer a ban...

Why not, but :

What do you think about sending Ronnie to jail ?

Or do you think his tongue has to be cut ?

Reading what you wrote, I was wondering how many people Ronnie has killed to deserve so mutch hate from you guys...

Just comme back to the facts please.

What has he done ? Speaking and joking.

What are the consequences of his behavior for Snooker, in China and anywhere else ? Absolutley none.

Did he criticize by any way the governing body or the China event ? Not at all.

So let's stay lucid ; Snooker players are not robots and they can make mistakes sometimes.
Ronnie has made one and he's been correctly punished.
End of the story.

Anonymous said...

I feel everyone is missing an important point about the incident.

Ronnie was sharing the joke with the World Snooker press officer who's role it was to oversee the press conference.

How severely could they punish Ronnie when the man they entrusted to control events was part of the joke and laughing along.

They were fools for making an issue out of it before learning all the facts. They merely made a rod for their own back and the token punishment was fitting of a token disciplinary.

Anonymous said...

If a male office worker made the comments Ronnie made he would have been sacked.
Great player but needs help in other areas.