Friday, 1 June 2007

Snooker: Ronnie Punished for UK Walkout

Ronnie O'Sullivan has been punished for walking out of last seasons UK Championship in York.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association's disciplinary committee ruled he had breached rules after in his match against Hendry.

Has has been fined in excess of £20,000!!! The fine comprises of £4,050 in forfeited winnings, £5,000 towards the hearing's costs and an £11,750 fine. Ronnie was also docked 900 ranking points.

Ronnie attended the hearing and his management company, 110sport, issued a statement that said they were disappointed with the decision and would not rule out an appeal. They also said, "We regret the outcome of the tribunal given that certain declarations of a sensitive and personal nature were made by the player and by myself on his behalf. We would have expected the Association to support their member."

I think the punishment is very firm and bordering on fair. It's good to finally see the governing body flexing their muscles and not shying away from punishing one of their star assets for an inexcusable action.

I only hope that if Ronnie appeals, the governing body will not crumble under pressure. This should send out a clear message to other professionals that they have a duty to the paying public and cannot behave in the way Ronnie did. I think 95% of the professionals already know their responsibilites, Ronnie is an exception. But let's not forget that Ding Junhui almost did the same thing in the Masters and I'm certain that if Ronnie's walkout would not have happened, we wouldn't have seen Ding do almost the same thing a few months later.

What are your feelings on Ronnie's punishment?? Please comment below....


Gwynston said...

Hmmm, sounds a bit draconian to me. I thought Ronnie was supposedly going to plead depression, breakdown, or some other mental condition. I'm pretty sure he could get a medical professional to testify that he's got a few screws loose, if he wanted to appeal. It would be hard to punish him if he has a genuine medical illness.

I don't think it's especially necessary to send out a message to other players - I very much doubt anyone else would even think about doing the same sort of thing anyway.

I'm pretty sure that what Ding did in the Masters was an honest mistake. He was obviously suffering really badly in the final and just wanted it all to be over. In the heat of the moment, I reckon he counted wrongly and thought the match was over. Commentator John Virgo certainly thought that's what was happening and that Ronnie was explaining to Ding that he needed to come back out after the interval. So a different situation IMO...

andy said...

Ooooooh, I don't know about that. Fair enough, Ronnie might not be well but I still feel the governing body needed to punish him for his actions. By the same token, they should be offering him help as well, and Ronnie should take it.

As for Ding, ...NO WAY! He was definitely conceding in my eyes, I couldn't believe what I was watching. I thought the commentators and presenters were covering it up. Check out Dave Hendon's post on it. The section titled "SCANDAL OF THE SEASON - The Masters 'cover up'". Dave Hendon thinks it was a cover up and he's the well respected assistant editor for Snooker Scene!