Disciplinary

Disciplinary Rules

The rules that set out the procedure that needs to be adopted for any Disciplinary Action applicable to all members were last revised in April 2014.

Matters set out in the rules include, but are not limited to:

  • Jurisdiction
  • Misconduct
  • Suspension prior to an investigation or hearing
  • The Disciplinary Committee
  • Initial Procedure
  • Disciplinary procedure
  • Hearing
  • The Independent Disciplinary Hearing Board
  • Appeals against findings from the Disciplinary Committee or Independent Disciplinary Hearing Board.
  • Sanctions
  • Costs
  • Confidentiality

Disciplinary Outcomes

In the interests of running a transparent sport, the WPBSA publishes the outcomes of all disciplinary matters.

WPBSA Members Rules Betting Rules Breaches

Since 2012 there have been the following instances of breach of the WPBSA Members Rules Betting Rules:

Joe Jogia

On 25th July 2012 The Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA heard the case of Joe Jogia in relation to the suspicious betting patterns on his match with Matthew Selt that was due to take place at the Sky Snooker Shootout at Blackpool on Saturday 28th January 2012.

It was alleged that a series of bets were placed on Matthew Selt to win this match and the pattern of betting was deemed to be suspicious. As a result betting was suspended on the match on the evening of 23rd January 2012. On 26th January 2012, Joe Jogia withdrew from the match citing an injury and the match did not take place.

An investigation was conducted by the WPBSA which found that on and between 20th and 24th January 2012, a total of 19 bets were made or attempted, all at different betting shops in the Leicester area on Matthew Selt winning this match against Joe Jogia. 14 bets to a total value of £4,830 were placed and 4 bets to a total of £2,300 and 1 bet of an unknown amount were declined.

It was established that the two persons placing the bets were known to Joe Jogia as associates and telephone records demonstrate that in the period leading up to and following the placing of bets Joe Jogia was in repeated contact with them. There was no contact prior to 16th January 2012 then he sent 33 text messages and made 3 calls to one of the persons placing the bets and 42 text messages and 1 call to the other. He did not provide a consistent or detailed explanation as to the reason for the contact.

Initially, Joe Jogia claimed that the reason for the betting must be that people were aware of an injury that he had suffered, but 4 of the suspicious bets were placed before he claimed to have suffered the injury and a further 7 of the bets were placed before he sought medical attention.

Although there was no evidence to show that Joe Jogia would have gained financially, the Disciplinary Committee found that the frequency and timing of this contact, his lack of a consistent explanation for the contact and the suspicions raised by the pattern of bets placed by his associates, created an actual or apparent conflict of interest for him as a Member of the WPBSA, or otherwise risked impairing public confidence in the integrity of his Match with Matthew Selt.

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

1. Betting misconduct.

It shall be a breach of these Rules for a Member to do any of the following:

2.1.4 General:

2.1.4.1 to engage in any other conduct (ie beyond that specified in paragraph 2.1.1 to 2.1.3) that is corrupt or fraudulent, or creates an actual or apparent conflict of interest for the Member, or otherwise risks impairing public confidence in the integrity and/or the honest and orderly conduct of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match;

He was suspended from involvement in the sport of snooker and billiards until the conclusion of the 2014 World Championships and ordered to pay £2,000 as a contribution towards the cost of the hearing and investigation of the case. This was later increased to £10,000 after an aborted appeal.


Stephen Lee

On 2nd October 2012 after a two year police and Gambling Commission enquiry the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to proceed with a case against Lee and others in relation to match fixing.

On 5th October 2012 the Gambling Commission referred the case back to the WPBSA.

After receipt of some material from the Gambling Commission and after further investigation Nigel Mawer the Chair of the WPBSA disciplinary Committee, decided that Lee had a case to answer in relation to match fixing allegations.

The allegations were serious and related to match fixing or the provision of inside information to enable persons to win money by betting on those matches. The matches in question were three matches in the Malta Cup 2008, two matches at the UK Championships 2008, one at the China Open 2009 and one at the World Championships 2009.

The WPBSA, in accordance with its Disciplinary Rules, asked Sport Resolutions UK to appoint an independent QC to hear the available evidence.

The case was heard between the 9th and 11th September 2013 in front of Adam Lewis QC who sat as the Independent Disciplinary Hearing Board. On 16th September 2013 he delivered the following decision:

“Stephen Lee is found guilty of “agreeing an arrangement… [and of] …accepting or receiving or offering to receive… payment or… other… benefit… in connection with influencing the outcome or conduct of” each of the seven matches in breach of Rule 2.9.”

He imposed a sanction of a suspension from involvement in the sport of snooker and billiards for 12 years and ordered Lee to pay £40,000 as a contribution towards the cost of the hearing and investigation of the case.

The facts are that between February 2008 and April 2009 Stephen Lee was in contact with three different groups of people all of whom placed bets on the outcomes of his matches or on the outcomes of frames within his matches or on the exact score of his matches.

This took place in seven matches over four tournaments. The matches were Lee v Robinson, Lee v Fu and Lee v Doherty in the Malta Cup 2008 where there was betting on the exact score and the match outcomes. Lee v Hendry and Lee v King in the UK Championship 2008 where the betting was on the outcome of the first frame in each match. Lee v Selby in the China Open where there was betting on the match outcome. Lee v Day in the World Championship where there were bets on match outcome and the exact score. In this match there was ‘in match’ betting on the outcome of the frames in progress.

The bets were placed by three groups of people. The first were organised by his then sponsor who opened multiple betting accounts with various associates. These accounts were used to place the bets. The second group were coordinated by his then manager who placed almost identical bets the third was an individual known to Lee who placed the same bets independently of the other two groups. Lee was in contact with the groups in the lead up to the matches in question and afterwards. In one case the person collected the successful bet and placed the half of the winnings into Lee’s wife’s bank account.

The total amount bet on these matches was in excess of £111,000 leading to winnings of over £97,000 for the persons placing the bets.

It is not clear how much Lee benefited from their activity or of his motivation to get involved in match fixing.

Lee appealed the decision on finding and on sanction and costs and on 30th January 2014 the first part of his appeal was heard by Edwin Glasgow QC and Mr Peter Stockwell. On 24th February 2014 they dismissed the first part of his appeal and ordered him to pay £30,000 towards the costs of the appeal.

The second part of his appeal was heard by Nicholas Stewart QC on 12th March 2014 and he found that he failed completely in his appeal and increased the costs order imposed at the original hearing from £40,000 to £75,000. In addition he ordered that Lee must pay a further £20,000 towards the costs of the appeal. This means that Lee was ordered to pay a total of £125,000 in costs.


John Sutton

After a contested hearing before the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee he was found to have fixed the outcome of his match with Jamie Burnett at the International Championship Qualifiers in Barnsley on 24th September 2014.

This is contrary to the WPBSA Members Rules Betting Rules:

2.1.2 Corruption:

2.1.2.1 to fix or contrive, or to be a party to any effort to fix or contrive, the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match;

2.1.3 Misuse of inside information:

2.1.3.1 to use for betting purposes, or to provide to any other person for such purposes, any information relating to the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match that the Member possesses by virtue of his position within the sport and that is not in the public domain or readily accessible by the public;

The circumstances were that there was suspicious betting on the handicap betting markets by persons associated with Sutton. The bets were coordinated by his sponsor and were based around the Dublin club where he practised. All the bets would be successful if there was a 5-0 victory to Sutton’s opponent. The amounts placed were disproportionately large compared to other matches in the tournament and to the stakes usually placed by the individuals concerned, indicating that they had knowledge of the outcome of the match before it was played. The bettors would have made in excess of €37,000 if the bets had been paid out. It was not known whether Sutton was to receive any of the proceeds of the betting.

After the full hearing on 24th March 2015 he was suspended from involvement in the sport of snooker and billiards for 6 years and ordered to pay £5,000 towards the costs of the proceedings.


Leo Fernandez

After a hearing before the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee that took place on 24th June 2016 Leo Fernandez admitted to a breach of 2.1.2.1 of the WPBSA Members Rules:

2.1.2 Corruption:

2.1.2.1 to fix or contrive, or to be a party to any effort to fix or contrive, the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match;

This related to suspicious betting on who would commit the first foul in the first frame in his match with Gary Wilson at the World Championship Qualifiers at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on 6th April 2016.

At an early stage Leo Fernandez fully admitted his involvement in delivering the foul shot in the first frame of the match in question for other persons to make money through betting. As a condition of his sentence he has pledged to assist the WPBSA in its anti-corruption education work to try and help other players avoid being drawn into match manipulation.

On Tuesday 5th July the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee issued their decision on sanction: Leo Fernandez is suspended from the sport of snooker for a period of 15 months. The suspension will run from 27th May 2016 when the interim suspension was imposed by the WPBSA. Therefore Leo Fernandez will not be eligible to participate in snooker before 27th August 2017.

He has been ordered to pay a contribution towards the WPBSA costs of £2,000.

The WPBSA take allegations of match fixing very seriously and in this case worked closely with the betting industry, the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU) of the GB Gambling Commission and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS). This case is further evidence of our uncompromising approach to dealing with such issues.

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