PtG Article 09.09.2010

Snooker champion cleared of match-fixing

Snooker champion John Higgins was cleared of match-fixing at an independent disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, after being caught on tape by News of the World accepting money to throw a match.

The meeting between Higgins and the undercover journalists took place in Kiev this spring. Higgins has several times explained that he felt threatened by the journalist, who he took to be a member of the Russian mafia, and only gave the impression that he would accept the bribe in order to end the meeting quickly. At the hearing, Higgins was banned for six months and fined £75,000 as he had failed to report the incident to the governing body World Snooker. "John made a mistake in failing to report the meeting in Kiev," World Snooker Chaiman Barry Hearn said in a statement yesterday. "The evidence, which has been exhaustively studied, suggests that he was led into this situation and did not instigate any discussions of corrupt activity.

SOURCE: The New York Times