Reports in Friday's newspapers state that Stephen Lee has been arrested as part of an investigation into match fixing.

The Daily Mail quotes a police spokesman as saying: "A 35-year-old man from Wiltshire has this morning been arrested on suspicion of cheating. This follows a joint operation where WestMidlands Police have assisted the Gambling Commission, following their concerns about suspicious betting patterns."

Lee, the world no.25, has won four ranking titles and was a semi-finalist at the 2003 World Championship.

Regardless of what comes out of this case, these are hardly headlines snooker needs.


Anonymous said...

No way!!!!!

Anonymous said...

mmm I wonder if it is anything to do with the burnett case ? shocking news !

Anonymous said...

If there's any truth in this I can see Hearn washing his hands of the sport.

It's taking a while for him to get his plans together; probably because the players are not too keen on changes to the rankings system that will see many of them replaced in the top echelons.

Sponsors won't touch the sport if this proves to be true, therefore no new events, same old, same old...

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
How are you lad! As we are all well aware there are other "Matters" in snooker that will in time have to be "discussed", why not have it all hang out now.

There could easily be a kind of assembly line of exposes on the run up to the big one in Sheffield. There are no secretes in snooker, but amazingly there are many “Hiding Places”. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

Quite... and it's currently the most read story on the BBC News website!

Do you think that Hearn is going to take a more open approach than the previous board, and perhaps pass on information more readily to the police?

Anonymous said...

Struggling player in lots of debt! i can see the temptation but it's a disgrace!
If found guilty he will have to be Banned!!

Anonymous said...

If he's found guilty then the precedent has been set for a ban and I'd say it would be a very lengthy one.

By the way Dave, why don't you ever tell Mr Hey You how you are? He always asks lad. I wish he'd post on my blog.

Anonymous said...

This is pre-Hearn era, when World Snooker were turning a blind eye, even, or especially when the finger was pointed at one of their own (Ebdon). Doesnt help the general perception now though when Betfair decline to offer Championship League final round becuase of 'integrity issues'

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
This new expose on snooker will test Barry’s promise and punch line on “Transparency” and of course the “Complete Honesty” that was Barry’s election pledge.
The honourable Sir Rodney was ousted on Barry’s vow of “Transparency” in all maters.

The WPBSA being the professional player’s trade union must first shelter the said member from adverse publicity, until the allegations are fully understood and discussed.

Sadly the game has a membership that it could lead to a parody of “The blind leading the blind” or accusations of “Pots and Pans”, and the "First Stone" etc.
Mr hey you

Monique said...

The whole fear about "sponsorship" is over the top I think. Cheating exists in every sport, it certainly does in football, cycling and F1 and it has nerver stopped sponsors. Now snooker might indeed suffer more because bookies are one of their main source of sponsoring.
The best answer BH could give to this would be a firm stance and a diligent handling of the case.

Anonymous said...

monique you're so ignorant it hurts. the cheating in cycling has made loads of teams close doors and even some TV's refused to show last year's Tour de France.

Monique. said...

I know cycling was hurt but not before the proportion of cheating was unrealy huge. Doping in cycling has been around for very long. Tom Simpson died in 1967. Yet for about some 35 years from then things continued to work without much hicups. It's only in the last ten years or less that it hit the sport hard. It did so IMO because no strong enough stance was taken while the situation was still sustainable. That's why I ask for strong and prompt action and transparancy. If that is achieved and trust can be maintained that the authorities do work hard at keeping the sport clean, isolated cases will have little impact.
Your devoted ignorant ;)

Greg P said...

I think the morass of fear that passes for "the economy" right now is more likely to deprive snooker of sponsorship than one (alleged) scam artist who wasn't particularly popular anyway. Monique is sort of correct, Schumacher's antics in F1 didn't hurt the sponsorship, but nearly all Renault's sponsors pulled out last year after the whole Piquet/Singapore thing. Cycling is different because the revelations there are seemingly neverending.

But even F1 seems to be struggling for sponsorship at the moment, I hope the situation picks up there soon because if it doesn't I'm going to also be worried for snooker (and everything else).

kimball said...

Memories seem short, Quintin Hann got
eight years so there are penalties
strong enough.
O'Sullivan lost 70£k for smoking a
2 years probation for kneeing the
tournamentdirector in the balls and
biting him in the lower lip was not
a punishment at all.

Peter Ebdon haters can keep on dreaming!
Cheating is everywhere and Stephen
Lee,s case won't change a jot.

Anonymous said...

The main problem is that these investigations tend to drag on for ages. A quick outcome would be great but this will probably rumble on for months. It may well overshadow the World Champs.

Anonymous said...

The funniest comments have been the ones from other players who claim not to have heard any rumours about Stephen Lee and possible "match fixing" before.
Clearly they are the wrong players to have asked regarding such rumours.
Rumours rather than any evidence being the operative word here mind you.

kildare cueman said...

Unfortunateiy, short of a confession its almost impossible to prove match fixing. even if a player looks as if he is trying to lose, as Burnett looked. There is always a possibility that he is innocent.

As we all know, snooker can sometimes reduce the toughest men to crumbling wrecks. One day a player can rattle off centuries at will, the next day the simplest of balls can miss the target.

Perhaps the way to go is to steal an idea from horseracing. That is, concentrate on a "not trying" charge. This could apply to a situation where no skullduggery takes place but where a player just plods uninterestedly through a match [as O Sullivan, Hann and possibly White and Higgins in the past].
Conceding a frame with 10 or 11 reds could come under this charge. penalties could range from a slap on the wrist to being banned for life for match fixing. this would at least enable WS to impose some kind of punishment when guilt is obvious but unprovable,
It would also deter the scandal media, as most cases would be minor. it would deter cheats because they know they would be called to account, and the issue could be dealt with, in house, a day or two after the incident.

The undoubted best way forward, however, is to have a situation where the prizemoney and prestige of winning far outweighs any financial gain from gambling. Snooker is currently doing its bit. Surely the bookies must realise that they have a responsibility in all this as well.
They have to keep their maximum bet at a level that makes "taking a pull" too much bother, unless the players involved are beyond reproach.

Greg P said...

"Unfortunateiy, short of a confession its almost impossible to prove match fixing. even if a player looks as if he is trying to lose, as Burnett looked. There is always a possibility that he is innocent."

Uh, not that's not true at all. They punished Peter Fransisco, but he probably never signed a "confession". If you use your common sense... it's obvious. When a professional player misses a shot by a huge margin, and there's been huge, unusual betting patterns on a specific scoreline. You shouldn't allow that to happen just because they didn't sign a confession in blood and have a huge Shakespearean breakdown on national TV where they admitted they did it.

As for the idea about punishing people for "not trying", that's like something out of a Monty Python sketch.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
How are you! It’s hard to define a tryer and a non trier in snooker. In theory Dave, Ronnie O Sullivan should be on the carpet every time he gets beat.
No player is as good as Ronnie, and our chief sponsors say so by making the lad favourite for every tournament and match..

For the alter boys and non punters Dave! Ronnie is not the favourite because he is handsome and good looking. It is because the money men say so; money is the only factor that makes favourites.

Ronnie’s less than affable attitude to the establishment and general public creates a gamble for all viewers. They want to see Ronnie win again or getting well and truly stuffed.
The establishment are in bothered in case Ronnie asks for “Appearance Money” up front. Snooker could for a period be called “The Ronnie O Show” Mr hey you

jamie brannon said...

Not neccesarily as Burnett may have missed by a huge margin as he was feeling the pressure of making sure it wasn't a 9-3 scoreline.

Anonymous said...

and he may have worn pink socks that day too....

Anonymous said...

Jamie (3.50 PM) - what world do you live in? Burnett will, in all probability, never be found guilty of match-fixing, just like Peter Francisco wasn't. But, his conduct could certainly be considered unbefitting of a professional sportsman.
I'm all for considering anyone innocent until proven guilty, but if a panel of snooker experts (chosen independently) was to study Burnett's actions and shot selections as they did with Francisco, they would surely reach the same verdict.

Anonymous said...

that may be so 1014 (and i am not saying i do not agree with you) but how you choose the snooker experts and how influenced they will be by hearing all sorts before investigating means they cant be sure, by human nature, of not being in the slightest bit influenced by whats been said in the press.....etc

forgive if the following isnt 100% accurate and correct please anyone >

QH was banned for 8 years for agreeing to cheat. now he may never have went through with it. he may have. he may have been bluffing. he may not. i know what i believe to be true, but wont say here.

now, in this day and age i am certain most snooker fans will have thought at some point that some players will have thrown matches, be it when their ranking cant go say, top 32 and their opponents can and so they lose. this can and MAY have happened, yet doesnt get punished as its not seen or proved or isnt involved with betting patterns.

Yet QH got 8 years. imho other folk doing bad things in snooker get away lightly with things that they actually do, especially if put against agreeing to cheat to people who arent very nice folk indeed (press pretending to be bent gamblers).

again, not defending QH, but using it as an example against what may or may not happen, as well as what has happened in other parts of WS and i think the whole process needs overhauled.


Anonymous said...

a panel of ex pro players did view the match and some were commentators !

Anonymous said...

55 - Quinten Hann was admittedly part of a sting, but there is no dispute that he was prepared to throw a match for financial game, calling it "business". Whether 8 years was fair is a different question.

As for the snooker experts viewing Burnett's actions/shot selections, Burnett could have partial say in who he wants to sit in judgement in order to ensure a degree of fairness. The problem is, his only defence has been along the lines of what Jamie said earlier - and let's be honest it's not very convincing.

Anonymous said...

i am neither going to post disagreeing or agreeing on it being convincing, as its not the place imho.