9 Sep 2010

World snooker No 1 cleared of accepting bribe

10:16 am on 9 September 2010

The world's No 1 snooker player, John Higgins, has been cleared of accepting a bribe to fix snooker matches but suspended for six months and fined $220,000.

The Scot was filmed during a meeting in Kiev with an undercover journalist from the British newspaper the News of the World offering him large sums of money to throw a match.

He said that he felt threatened during the meeting and that the only way to get out of the situation was to appear to be going along with the deal.

"In my 18 years playing professional snooker," he says, "I have never deliberately missed a shot, never mind intentionally lost a frame or a match."

But at a hearing in London, the BBC reports, he admitted bringing the game into disrepute by not reporting the illegal approach made to him to discuss throwing frames.

The suspension has been backdated, so he can resume playing top-level snooker in November.