Mark Allen has been fined £10,000, plus £1,000 in costs, by the WPBSA disciplinary committee for his derogatory comments about Cao Yupeng and Chinese players in general at last season’s World Championship.

Allen will be suspended from playing for three months if he breaks any further WPBSA rules in the next six months.

The WPBSA statement read:

“The Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA has formally considered the case of Mark Allen in relation to his comments in a press conference on Sunday 22nd April 2012 following his defeat in the Betfred.com World Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. In this conference he accused his opponent Cao Yupeng of cheating and said that cheating appeared to be a trait of Chinese players.  He named two other Chinese players as being known for cheating.

“This follows on from a previous case where Mark was fined £1,000 and warned as to his future conduct for comments he made about China and the Chinese people on twitter.

“The Disciplinary Committee found that he is in breach of the following members rules:

“1.1  Members shall, at all times (i.e. whether at a Tournament or not), behave in a proper and correct manner consistent with their status as professional sportsmen. Members shall not do anything which is likely to intimidate, offend, insult, humiliate or discriminate against any other person on the grounds of disability, their religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin, sex or sexual orientation.

“1.2  A Member shall not make or cause to be made any statement or commit or cause to be committed any act which in the reasonable view of the WPBSA is likely to bring into disrepute the games of snooker and/or billiards.

“He was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 towards the cost of the hearing and was suspended from playing for a period of three months. This suspension will only come into effect if he commits any new breach of the WPBSA Members Rules that are dealt with by the WPBSA Disciplinary process in the next six months. He has also been required to undergo media training.

“The WPBSA Disciplinary Committee consider that this behaviour is unacceptable and offensive to China and the Chinese players. Such behaviour will not be tolerated by the WPBSA.

It strikes me the fine could have been much heavier for what were unnecessary comments.

It is true Allen had just lost in the World Championship and was therefore feeling very disappointed but to suggest cheating is an endemic trait of an entire nation is unacceptable.

Neither does the ‘free speech’ defence work. Free speech doesn’t just mean you can say whatever you like about anyone. It has to be either true or fair comment. Allen’s remarks were neither.

It’s a new season and a new start. Allen has already begun it positively by donating his £800 prize money from the Pink Ribbon pro-am to a breast cancer charity.

He remains a formidable presence on the table, already with a ranking title under his belt and more surely to follow.

How he reacts to this action will be important I think. If he accepts it and gets on with his career then he may find it is soon forgotten.

If he acts as if he has been victimised then it will be counter productive. Not least because it wouldn’t be true.

He did the wrong thing, he's been punished. Time to move on.


Urindragon said...

What's up with all the fines? I feel like the Main Tour is some sort of a correctional facioity now. I used to be a massive snooker fan but now there is quite frankly too much snooker with all the small tournaments that cause all my favourite players to either retire, take an extended break or slip down the rankings. It is imperative that a ranking system that allows players to pick and choose at a lesser cost is introduced.
Thank you and nice blog as always, Dave!

Anonymous said...

So this is probably the equivalent of receiving a caning from the teacher. Beats a suspension I guess. One good run in the next tournament and he's covered his fine, so World Snooker are essentially just giving him an incentive to apply himself more professionally.

I don't think the allegation against Yupeng was actually of line; he clearly didn't own up to a foul and it was unsporting. The problem with the comment was when he generalized it to all Chinese players, which was a bit out of order. The penalty seems about right given his Hainan transgression.

Dave H said...

I didn't think it was a foul

Anonymous said...

Mark Allen believes free speech means you can say anything about any person.
No slander or libel laws apply apparently, what a gormless mug he is.

Anonymous said...

mark allen did not tell lies;anything he said about the conditions in china were true;also yupeng shot was a foul.can people not see,mark allen was made an example of,to please the chinese media,and make more money for big mouth barry hearn.
chinese players do not cheat;what about wenbo v joe swail afew seasons ago.