World Snooker Championship: Allen sorry for Cao remarks

Allen accuses Cao of dishonesty

World number 11 Mark Allen has apologised for the controversial comments that have landed him with a charge from snooker's governing body.

Allen lost 10-6 to Cao Yupeng of China in round one of the World Championship and then alleged that his opponent failed to declare an illegal push shot.

"I overstepped the line when I was heavily influenced by the emotions of a disappointing defeat," Allen said.

"I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Cao Yupeng."

At a press conference following his defeat by Cao on Sunday, the 26-year-old also made wider allegations that Chinese players on the circuit had been involved in "fouls and blatant cheating".

Allen, who was given 14 days to respond to the charge from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, had already caused controversy this year when he described conditions at at China's Haikou World Open, where he went on to win his maiden title, as "horrendous".

He was fined £1,000 for those comments.

"I would also like to apologise to World Snooker," he said after his most recent remarks. "I appreciate the hard work by many people to grow our sport and I am truly horrified to think that my actions could be perceived to be detrimental to this.

"I realise that I need to ensure my off-table behaviour matches the standard and level of professionalism I set for my on-table etiquette. I will return for the 2012-13 season with an improved approach to giving my opinions publicly."

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said the governing body took "very seriously comments made which could be perceived to be directed at a particular nation".

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn also made clear his displeasure at Allen's remarks.

Allen comments saddens Hearn

"To effectively accuse your opponent of cheating is looked on as bringing the game into disrepute," said Hearn.

"Time and time again Mark seems unable to control himself in his public statements. Sometimes I am speechless."

In response to Allen's accusation of dishonesty on the part of Cao, Hearn added: "Players have rules written in their contracts and they are not allowed to say certain things.

"If they do, they are in breach of tournament regulations and will come under a disciplinary process."

Hearn also welcomed the news that Allen has closed his Twitter account.external-link

"People must realise Twitter is out there in the public domain so you have to be careful what you say.

"Whether there has been a push shot or not is pretty much academic - it's the slant of the comments that Mark made afterwards.

"He had the chance to say to the referee that he believed he had made a mistake, but did not take that opportunity."

Allen could face a fine, suspension or expulsion if found guilty of bringing the sport into disrepute.

The Antrim player, who admits he was "completely outplayed" by the world number 81, claimed Cao failed to declare an illegal push shot when leading 5-4, although no foul was given by referee Paul Collier.

"I'm disgusted. The state of snooker is very sad if it has to be down to that, but it's not the first time," said Allen after the game.

In March, Allen took to his Twitter accountexternal-link to launch an astonishing attack on China.

"Dead cat found this morning," he tweeted. "Any wonder this place stinks. Must be dead cats all round the town."

He went on to win the event and later stood by his comments, insisting: "It would be nicer to play tournaments in the UK, but I have to go where the money is."

In December, he called on World Snooker chairman Hearn to resign after changes were made to the format of major tournaments.

"I've got no doubt he'll tweak the World Championship," Allen said at the time. "The whole tradition of the game is going to pot."

Allen was fined for the Hearn outburst before receiving another financial penalty for his comments at the World Open.