John Sutton: Snooker player given six-year match-fixing ban

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
John Sutton
John Sutton was given a six year ban from snooker

Amateur John Sutton has been given a six-year ban after being found guilty of match-fixing and passing on inside information.

Suspicious betting patterns were reported after the Irishman's 6-0 loss to Scot Jamie Burnett in 2014.

Sutton, 34, was found guilty at a World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) hearing in April, but it was ruled he had probably been coerced by others.

Burnett is not implicated in any way.

Sutton, who has also been ordered to pay £5,000 costs, maintains his innocence.

He says he felt unwell during the International Championships qualifier last year against Burnett and claims he has been "made a scapegoat".

"The only thing I am guilty of is being an ill-prepared amateur," the father-of-four from Drogheda told BBC Sport.

Under current WPBSA rules, players face lifetime bans for match-fixing unless there are significant mitigating circumstances.

Former world number three Stephen Lee was banned for 12 years in September 2013 after being found guilty of fixing, although this related to seven matches which took place before the rules were amended.

Who is John Sutton?
Business development manager, aged 34
Practises between five and 10 hours a week
Is not a WPBSA member and does not hold a World Snooker tour card