MX23RW : Saturday, October 20 13:32:02

Ronnie O'Sullivan backtracks on match-fixing claims

Ronnie O'Sullivan retracts his claim that several snooker players have been guilty of match-fixing.

Ronnie O'Sullivan has retracted his claims that a number of snooker players are guilty of match-fixing.

The five-time world champion made his comments via Twitter on Tuesday after Stephen Lee was found guilty of fixing seven matches between 2008 and 2009.

In a statement released by World Snooker, O'Sullivan said: "I would like to clarify the comments that I made on Twitter as they were an instant reaction to an issue which I feel strongly about, namely the integrity of my sport.

"The news about Stephen Lee's match-fixing case was eye-opening to all players on the circuit, and sends out a clear message to any would-be cheats. I fully support this decision and commend the WPBSA for taking positive action in this case.

"My reference to players throwing matches was out of context in that I was referring back to rumours from many years ago when there were only a few tournaments on the circuit.

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

Hearn had earlier asked O'Sullivan to fully explain his Twitter comments.

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World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn speaks to the press during the Betfair World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre on April 29, 2013
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