• Snooker

O'Sullivan backtracks on match-fixing comments

ESPN staff
September 20, 2013
Ronnie O'Sullivan does not want his comments to leave a damaging mark on snooker © PA Photos

Reigning world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan says his comments on match-fixing in snooker were "taken out of context".

After Stephen Lee was found guilty of match-fixing earlier in the week and faces a lifetime ban, O'Sullivan tweeted that Lee "was just caught out" and also posted "I've heard there's many more players who throw snooker matches".

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn called for O'Sullivan to explain his comments after branding them "unacceptable and damaging", but O'Sullivan has now backtracked on his statements.

"I was referring to rumours from years ago when there were only a few tournaments on the circuit," he said.

"The comments were an instant reaction to an issue which I feel strongly about, namely the integrity of my sport.

"I have no intention of undermining the integrity of the sport that I love and enjoy participating in so much and firmly believe that my tweets were taken out of context. The snooker circuit calendar is now full of tournaments all year round and has undoubtedly been cleaned up since World Snooker was taken over by Barry Hearn.

"I do not want my comments to leave a damaging mark on the game."

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