Snooker player's 12-year ban

Stephen Lee has been banned for 12 years after being found guilty of seven match-fixing charges, World Snooker has confirmed.

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Stephen Lee 'devastated' by 12-year snooker ban

Stpehen Lee is the former world number five. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Snooker player Stephen Lee maintained his innocence after being handed a lengthy ban for match-fixing.

"I'm absolutely devastated. I've done nothing wrong and I'm totally innocent," Lee told reporters.

Lee has always denied the allegations, which relate to seven matches played in 2008 and 2009, and said he was confident of winning an appeal.

Snooker authorities have described it as "the worst case of snooker corruption we've seen".

Banned snooker player Lee 'threw it all away'

World Snooker's head of disciplinary Nigel Mawer said banned player Stephen Lee had "thrown away" a successful career:

This is a case of a fantastic snooker player who has thrown it all away through making the wrong decisions.

It is only human to have a degree of sympathy for him and it is going to be very difficult for him but we have to send a very strong message that match-fixing is not going to be tolerated.

In effect it is a life ban because I think it is highly unlikely that Stephen Lee will be able to come back to the sport at this level.

– Stephen Lee

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Corrupt snooker players 'will be severely dealt with'

Snooker authorities said the 12-year ban handed to Stephen Lee showed their determination to stamp out corruption in the sport.

Jason Ferguson, the chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, said:

We take no pride in having to deal with such serious issues. However, this demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that snooker is free from corruption.

It is an important part of our anti-corruption approach that players found to be involved in fixing matches or any aspect of a match are severely dealt with.

We work closely with partners globally and the message we are sending is that if you get involved in match fixing you will be found out and removed from the sport.

– Jason Ferguson

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