Irish Snooker player Leo Fernandez has been given a 15-month ban by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) after admitting to a charge related to corruption and match-fixing.
Fernandez, 40, was provisionally suspended on May 27 pending an investigation into suspicious betting patterns during his World Championship qualifying match with Gary Wilson in April. He has now admitted to playing an intentional foul in order to profit those who had placed bets on the first foul shot of the match.
The Disciplinary Committee has ruled a breach in clause 220.127.116.11, related to betting corruption, and Fernandez will serve a ban from all professional snooker competition until August 27, 2017. He will also pay a fine of €2,000 and assist the WPBSA in its anti-corruption education work.
Jason Ferguson, WPBSA chairman, said: “This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that all aspects of matches in World Snooker events are competed in a fair and honest manner.
“Working closely with our many international partners, the WPBSA has developed the strongest anti-corruption strategies available in sport today.
“Leo Fernandez had just qualified to play on the WSL tour this season as a full professional and by his actions he has thrown away this opportunity.”
A separate statement from the WPBSA read: “At an early stage, Leo Fernandez fully admitted his involvement in delivering the foul shot in the first frame of the match in question for other persons to make money through betting.
“As a condition of his sentence, he has pledged to assist the WPBSA in its anti-corruption education work to try and help other players avoid being drawn into match manipulation.
“On Tuesday 5th July the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee issued their decision on sanction: Leo Fernandez is suspended from the sport of snooker for a period of 15 months.
Fernandez has featured on Snooker’s professional ranks since 2007, and reached the quarter-finals of last year’s Haining Open on the Asian Tour.