RONNIE O'SULLIVAN was fined a total of £8,000 on Wednesday by the disciplinary committee of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.
O'Sullivan was found guilty of breaching players’ rules governing conduct and behaviour – and in a separate case of being abusive and insulting to senior referee Jan Verhaas, breaching his player's contract.
Reigning and five-time world champion O’Sullivan, 38, was fined £6,000 plus £1,000 costs by the governing body for three sets of comments on Twitter.
The first, in the wake of Stephen Lee being found guilty of match-fixing, saw O’Sullivan formally apologise and swiftly retract tweets claiming it was the tip of the iceberg.
A second tweet saw him claim he taken pills to improve his performance, while a third was of an offensive nature.
In a separate disciplinary case O’Sullivan was also fined a further £1,000 over an incident at December's German Masters qualifying.
O’Sullivan refused to tuck his shirt in when asked by referee William Craig during a match against Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, which he went on to lose 5-4.
Following a request made by Verhaas, the senior referee called to the table, O’Sullivan was "abusive, insulting and disrespectful".
O’Sullivan admitted this allegation and apologised for his behaviour citing as mitigation conditions at the venue and that he was feeling unwell at the time.
O’Sullivan, who pocketed £200,000 for winning a fifth Masters title on Sunday, has a history of clashes with the game’s authorities.
Among other instances in 1996 he was fined £20,000 for assaulting a tournament official at the world championships.
And 10 years later O’Sullivan picked up another £20,000 fine for walking out of a UK Championship quarter-final mid-match against Stephen Hendry.
The full statements of the two cases are below:
Ronnie O’Sullivan - press statement
The Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA have formally considered the case of Ronnie O’Sullivan in relation to alleged breaches of the WPBSA Members Rules.
This related to three separate posts on a social networking site in September and October 2013.
The first were comments relating to match fixing that he later retracted with a formal apology.
The second related to the suggestion he took pills that helped his performance and the third was a post of an offensive nature.
The Disciplinary Committee found that he was in breach of Rules 1.1 and 1.2 of the WPBSA Members Rules.
He was fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 towards the cost of the hearing.
The WPBSA work hard to maintain what is widely considered to be one of the strongest anti-corruption units of any sport as well has having strong anti-doping policies which involve robust testing schedules. The WPBSA Disciplinary Committee considered that the comments that were made undermined these efforts and were damaging to the image of the sport. Such behaviour will not be tolerated by the WPBSA.
WPBSA Members Rules and Regulations:
Obligations of Members
1 General obligations
1.1 Members shall, at all times (i.e. whether at a Tournament or not), behave in a proper and correct manner consistent with their status as professional sportsmen…..
1.2 A Member shall not make or cause to be made any statement or commit or cause to be committed any act which in the reasonable view of the WPBSA is likely to bring into disrepute the games of snooker and/or billiards.
Ronnie O’Sullivan - press statement 2
The Disciplinary Chairman has formally considered the case of Ronnie O’Sullivan in relation to alleged breaches of his players contract under the WPBSA Disciplinary Rules.
This related to an incident at the German Masters Qualifying Tournament in Barnsley on 12th December 2013 where he did not comply with a legitimate request made by a senior referee and was abusive, insulting and disrespectful towards him.
Mr O’Sullivan admitted the allegation and apologised for his behaviour citing conditions at the venue and that he was feeling unwell at the time as the reasons.
The Disciplinary Chairman found that he was in breach of the obligations of a player under his players contract with WSL.
He was fined £1,000 and formally warned as to his future behaviour.
It is essential that players comply with the instructions of the Tournament Director and WSL Officials. The Players contract and rules are in place to provide the officials with support where there is a breach by the player. In this case the match was being streamed and was seen around the world. There is no excuse for the actions of Mr O’Sullivan.
World Snooker Players Contract 2012-13
3. Obligations of the Player
a. General Obligations
In consideration for the Player being invited to participate in the WSL Events the Player shall:
viii. Comply with the instructions, directions and decisions of the Tournament Director (or his authorised representatives including Tournament Officials and Referees) concerning matters
arising during WSL Events which fall within the general authority and responsibility of the Tournament Director, whether or not specifically provided within these rules. Any decision by the Tournament Director on the matter arising as outlined above shall be final.
x. Treat all WSL employees, fellow players, Venue staff, Partners, Broadcaster staff, the public and any other people associated with WSL Events with respect and not act in an abusive, insulting, disrespectful, racist, sexist, homophobic, intimidating, threatening or violent manner.