Kyle McKinstry & Wessel Nijman suspended over match-fixing claims

Kyle McKinstry
Kyle McKinstry is a former BDO World Championship quarter-finalist

Northern Ireland's Kyle McKinstry and Dutchman Wessel Nijman have been suspended by the Darts Regulation Authority over alleged match-fixing.

The DRA says it was alerted to "suspicious betting" on games in which the two men played by the International Betting Integrity Association.

The Professional Darts Players Association (PDPA) says McKinstry has indicated an intention to appeal.external-link

Nijman has accepted his charge, saying he made a "stupid mistake".

The events in question, played online in April and May, were regulated by the DRA but were unconnected with the Professional Darts Corporation.

Both 33-year-old McKinstry, ranked 99 in the PDC order of merit, and 20-year-old Nijman played on the PDC's Challenge Tour early in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic severely affected the calendar.

The DRA says there is no suggestion that the opponents were involved in the alleged rule breaches in any way.

A DRA statement said:external-link "Nigel Mawer, the chairman of the DRA, has decided that McKinstry has a case to answer for two cases of match-fixing and failing to cooperate with the DRA by not producing his phone itemised billing.

"As a result of this decision, McKinstry has been suspended from attending or competing in DRA-sanctioned events until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter.

"McKinstry has the right to appeal this suspension decision."

Nijman also has the right to appeal, but said in a statement: "I was put under some pressure to lose a match and I agreed to do this. I have admitted the offence and take full responsibility for it and will accept my punishment.

"I should have spoken to my management, the PDPA, DRA or police when I was put in this position and would advise any other player who finds themselves in a similar position to do that.

"Instead, I went along with it and made a stupid mistake that I am rightly being punished for.

"It was a one-off error of judgement which I want to put behind me and do everything I can to put right."

The PDPA added: "This is considered a serious matter and it is right and just that any player in breach of these rules is punished accordingly.

"While the PDPA as an organisation condemns his (Nijman's) actions, we also recognise his admission of guilt, his remorse, his willingness to cooperate and his desire to re-educate himself on matters of integrity.

"We have provided Nijman with support, guidance, education and assistance and will continue to do so throughout the case and beyond. The same support remains available to McKinstry."

Dates for hearings of the two players' cases are yet to be confirmed.

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