The WPBSA disciplinary committee is referring its investigation into allegations that John Higgins agreed to fix results for money to Sports Resolutions UK, the sports dispute resolution body that works with governing bodies but is independent of them.

A WPBSA statement said: "The WPBSA Disciplinary Committee has resolved to refer an investigation arising from the News of the World newspaper's report of May 2, 2010, which contained allegations against John Higgins and Pat Mooney, to a hearing board convened under the auspices of Sport Resolutions UK.

"David Douglas, head of the WPBSA's disciplinary committee, said: "Sport Resolutions deals with cases in various sports and is named in WPBSA disciplinary rules. It is completely independent of the WPBSA and we have no doubt that it will bring a fair conclusion to this matter."

One of the positive things about the new regime is their openness. It is right that the details of the investigation are kept private but at least we now know who is in charge of the disciplinary process.

This is absolutely true: under the last board I made numerous requests over a five year period to officially obtain the identity of the disciplinary committee chairman without any success. Results of disciplinary cases were not released to the media unlike in other sports - until the board finally relented last year after a sit-down meeting with members of the press.

It was typical of the needless, paranoid secrecy that marked the administration. They made Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean leader, look like a blabbermouth.

Barry Hearn told a newspaper earlier this week that it should take the independent tribunal a month to come to a decision after Douglas has presented his report, so end of July/early August is when Higgins should learn his fate.

In the meantime, he remains suspended and has not been selected for this season's Premier League.

Unlike most of the rest of the internet, this blog will not be speculating about the outcome of the case nor prejudicing it with gossip, theory and opinion based on only knowing some of the facts.

I will write about it again when the result of the investigation is known.


Anonymous said...

Well said. Some of the things written on other blogs and forums have been shameful and almost certainly libellous.

Anonymous said...

Now, when is someone going to do something about the Maguire/Burnett and Lee cases?

Dave H said...

Both those cases are in the hands of the police

Anonymous said...

Well said, Dave. Regardless of the case and its outcome, the openness is a breath of fresh air. Barry Hearn, as expected, is certainly looking to be a man of his word.

Thanks for the update.


It would be good to have some closure on this, once and for all.

Its all casual fans seem to want to talk about, when snooker is being discussed.

I can visibly see the interest draining from them when I try to explain the ranking system or the ptc tour.

In snookers' favour though, why are we so conceited to think we are the only sport that is free from this carry on.

Losing for betting interests is as old as the oldest profession itself, and long before the current case, people were looking for opportunities in snooker, darts, racing, in fact, any gambling medium, where a participant can be paid to take a pull.

Like terrorism, it can never be eradicated but can be curtailed severely by making sure the rewards don't justify the execution.

I think its virtually impossible at present to make it worthwhile for a top 16er to lose.

The lost ranking points and cash, not to mention the penalties of being caught, weighed up against the few thousand that can be won before the bookies twig, makes losing a liability whether intended or not.

As the game grows, hopefully this situation will be the same lower down the ranks, and barring the odd plonker, virtually scandal free.

Anonymous said...

Sidenote: to those who wonder why their comments never appear, you sometimes have to click publish twice. The first time it goes to the top but without the greenish blog owner approval message. The second time around it always appears and so does the comment. I hope this was helpful to some.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech and all that. I've not seen anything too bad elsewhere. After all, if you get the lead spread in a Sunday red top then who is going to stop people talking?

Anonymous said...

dave i respect your stance on not speculating however the idea of forums is speculating.

speculating on results,loses,who will get in the top 16 and also not so nice things like this case,drug taking in sport and other things.

thats the whole point of forums speculating and having opinions on different things some nice some not.

Anonymous said...

Biased i know but i can't help hoping and wishing that Higgins is found innocent. I still find it hard to comprehend that someone of Higgins abiility and class on and off the table could be capable of this.

Anonymous said...

@ 2.46PM.

I think a lot of people very close to the game share your sentiments. However, I hope and I believe that sentiment should not play any part in the outcome of the hearing.

Anonymous said...

Thye internet generation appear to believe 'freedom of speech' means you can just say what you like about anyone

Anonymous said...

no by stating what you say as fact is whats wrong if it clearly isnt fact.

everyone has a personal opinion and thats the point of internet forum to express that opinion if people trying to stop that then we are moving in to a dictatorship where freedom of speach is seen as wrong.

Anonymous said...

if higgins is cleared then its possible quinten hann could feel a little bit agrieved.he was banned for 8 years on pretty much the same evidence.that was the notw aswell.it may give him a case to sue wpbsa although i doubt he will.

Betty Logan said...

I have been wondering how it would reflect on Hearn in the event of a "not guilty" verdict since the media and general public have pretty much decided Higgins is guilty, and how would Hearn avoid "cover-up" accusations. At least Hearn has legitimate recourse now the case has been passed to a credible body independent of the game.

Anonymous said...

by that time it will have been 1/4 of a year since the story broke. hardly 'weeks'....

Betty Logan said...

Well it hasn't been months has it? Hearn has kept to his word, the investigation took weeks and not months just as he promised, and now it has been passed to an independent body. What happens now is out of his hands, but the part he was responsible has been concluded according to the timetable he set out.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear David
How are you lad! I think you are wrong Dave to close your blog to John Higgins comments for two months as it could easily be extended for a further two months.

My personal opinion is that John will be “Invited” back to await a Final-Final Conclusion to be heard maybe next year or soon in the spring of the following year.

Sports Resolutions will refuse to arbitrate without a full satisfactory reason why they have been burdened (Out of the blue) with this trial.
Especially as W/S has a standard “Disciplinary Board” plus an extra Chief Inspector of police for sound advice.

The boards in the past have made unpleasant decisions against the lad from Australia and the members that have been smoking the weed and forfeiting prize money plus poor ole Tony for loving too much and bringing the game into disrepute.

This case now has nothing to do with John Higgins but a hopeful cover-up for Mr A, B and possible C/D etc. Mr Hey You


Anonymous said...

hardly "years"... is 12 a compatible unit? 12,000 then you have a point and it's kiloweeks but 12 weeks is the right unit.

Anonymous said...

What are you all supporters of democracy! And why then forget about the presumption of innocence?
Also, I do not understand how you can make a fair decision, if the full video recording is not transferred to the investigation so far.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
Thanks for the posts lad you have been very brave. To the many curious about this “Bravery” praise maybe I should elaborate a little.
All “Snooker” blogs have a very strict arbitration panels and some do not accept criticism, reasons or explanations just an “Immediate ban” hence the bravery compliment to Dave.

Snooker is a beautiful game folks and still in its infancy. There should be no secretes within the administration nor in playing technique.
But sadly the professional side of snooker has a few “Skeletons in the Cupboard” that is really a “Conspiracy of Silence” fellowship.

The WPBSA in the nineties created a “Disciplinary Precedent” that can now be used by any alleged offender in mitigation when accused of wrongdoing. Mr Hey You

Anonymous said...

That 'snookerbacker' character has had a go at you on his blog!

Anonymous said...

Very easy to slag off players and others in snooker from behind a computer when you don't have to run into them...

Anonymous said...

Hes an idiot that snookerbacker. He thinks he has the right to be downright insulting about players appearences in the name of humour.
Hes about as funny as a sore tooth and cant pick a winner to save his life. A site to avoid i think

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone. About par for the course I think. Whilst I agree that the site is not in the least bit amusing I do take exception to the 'can't pick a winner to save his life' the last three ranking events of the season (and only ones since the blog started) have produced all three winners correctly an if you check the profit and loss section I could actually be the one filing the libel suit.

I also can't find any reference to Dave in the piece I wrote yesterday, it was actually more aimed at some people that appear to have forgotten comments they posted when the stories broke. Anyway, I won't be commenting again as this is a very bad tempered place to be, I'll stick to reading Dave's excellent articles instead.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr X @ 5:18 and Brother X @ 5:43.
The Fine Art is not hiding behind a “Nom de plume”! Everyone from W/S in Bristol to the BBC staff (snooker) knows the name and address of Mr Hey You.

Please note kind Sirs that no one has been maligned or traduced by Mr Hey You in any Dave-Den posts. Plus the fact that the “Fine Art” words of wisdom are never questioned.

Our friend Mr Snookerbacker could make a good “Book” not on the JH verdict of course but on the date the next postponement will be announced.
Barry and Steve of the SPA have offered Mr Snookerbacker about sixty runners (Dates) with a clear winner or conclusion and also with and without an objection.

Mr Snookerbacker could also offer “Odds” if Mr Hey You is talking “Pure Rubbish” or “Unadulterated Rubbish” concerning the “Get out” Precedent for all future Wrongdoers or again the “Odds” on past culprits being recompensed.

The expression “I’ll bet Yu” is probable as old as “How much”. Mr Hey You

Anonymous said...

Snookerbocker still slagging off this blog. Apparently he can have a go at who he likes but when someone does it to him he doesn't like it.

Let's see if he has the guts to come to a tournament and say to players faces what he's been writing about them. What do you reckon?

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr X. Hi Dave
How are you kind Sir @ 12:22pm! Your verbal discord with Mr Snookerbacker is very interesting but only to the Hendon members that know the “Score”.(what do you reckon)?
It is a nice quality you have Sir defending your friends but it would be much more enlightening if we blog members new why your “Friends” cant or wont speak for them selves.

Surely Mr X your snooker friends like Royalty don’t require a “Minder” or spokesperson to answer on there behalf?
Sadly mister we here on snookers Only “Snooker Blog” would rather hear from new members and the more the merrier.

If your friends Sir should be Professional players I am sure Dave will dually genuflect and greet them with kind words.
The rule laid down by the recent regime of “Keep Your Big Mouth Shut” is now revoked as the Barry and Steve pledge is “Transparency” and “Complete Honesty”.

Please convey to your friends Mr X they can if they wish; ”Speak Up”. Mr Hey You.