Former world champion Stuart Bingham has been given a six-month suspension for breaching snooker’s betting regulations.
The 41-year-old, who won at the Crucible in 2015, has been found to have placed bets of close to £36,000 on matches – some of which he was playing in – over a period of 12 years.
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) said Bingham had admitted to a small amount of betting using two accounts in his own name, but was actually guilty of “greater betting over at least seven years”.
Half of the ban has been suspended until October next year, but the world number nine will miss the UK Championships and the Masters as he is not allowed to play again until January 26, 2018.
Bingham, who it was said had not disclosed bets made in his manager’s name, must also pay £20,000 in costs.
The WPBSA added that there was no suggestion Bingham was “doing anything to influence match outcomes or engaged in corrupt activity.” He has until November 6 to appeal against the decision.
“It is very disappointing to see such a high-profile player fall foul of the WPBSA Betting rules,” chairman Jason Ferguson said in a statement.
“Stuart is a great competitor and I have no doubt he has always played to the best of his ability. This case shows that there are no exceptions to the rules. Players must understand that they cannot bet on snooker at all, even if they are not involved in a match or event.
“Any player found to breach of the betting rules will face the most serious of consequences”.
In breaking down Bingham’s offences, the WPBSA said he placed bets in accounts under his name and the name of his manager, while he also placed bets under a third party.