|(Snooker) British cheat Lee fixed China Open match
Former world number five Stephen Lee of England was found guilty of fixing seven snooker matches.
He Lee could face a lifetime ban after the verdict was confirmed by Nigel Mawer, the chairman of the disciplinary committee of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, AFP reports.
The 38-year-old's sanction will be announced at a separate hearing on September 24.
Lee, the winner of five ranking titles during his career, was charged following an investigation into eight matches – four at the Malta Cup in 2008, two at the UK Championship 2008, and one each at the China Open in 2009 and the World Championship the same year.
He was suspended last October and an independent hearing was arranged by Sport Resolutions UK.
Adam Lewis QC said in a WPBSA statement: “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.''
The WPBSA said 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.
The total amount bet on these matches was in excess of US$176,500 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.
It is the biggest case of match-fixing to hit snooker since Australian Quinten Hann was suspended for eight years in 2006 for breaking rules governing match-fixing after he was caught in a sting by undercover reporters where he agreed to lose a game at the China Open in return for money.