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Saturday, 16 May, 1998, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Snooker star's 'shame' over drugs test
Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan faces disciplinary actions
The snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan has tested positive for drugs after traces of cannabis were found in his system.

O'Sullivan, who is ranked number three in the world, will appear in front of a disciplinary committee and could be banned from the sport.

O'Sullivan's solicitor, Gerry Sinclair, said the 22-year-old UK champion was "deeply ashamed" of what he had done.

It is not known when the sport's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, will take action.

O'Sullivan at the table
The world number three at the table
But O'Sullivan will be hoping to avoid invoking a two-year ban imposed in April 1996, after an incident at the world championship.

The ban, which was not in response to a drugs offence, was suspended on the basis of his future good conduct.

The current offence took place in March 1998, while he was taking part in the Benson and Hedges Irish Masters. O'Sullivan collected 61,000 for beating Ken Doherty in the event.

"Ronnie has made the point of writing to Ken to offer his apologies," said Mr Sinclair.

"But I would stress that smoking cannabis is no way performance enhancing."

He said O'Sullivan had "fully admitted his responsibility for what he accepts was an extremely foolish incident of cannabis. Ronnie is deeply ashamed of his involvement in this matter.

"He is extremely conscious of his responsibility as a role model to numerous youngsters who follow the sport of snooker and he apologises to his fans, personal sponsors and colleagues within the WPBSA," said Mr Sinclair.

"Ronnie intends to attempt to make amends for his conduct by offering his time to local schools and youth groups to press home the message that youngsters should say 'no' to drugs."

See also:

22 Feb 98 | Sport
O'Sullivan pots Scottish title
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