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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 21:24 GMT 22:24 UK
O'Sullivan avoids cue-tip censure
Ronnie O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan has gone through more than 20 cue-tips at The Crucible
Ronnie O'Sullivan has been given the benefit of the doubt after controversy over an incident with his cue-tip.

There was a 15-minute delay in the 14th frame of O'Sullivan's semi-final match against Graeme Dott after his cue-tip came loose.

TV footage seemed to show O'Sullivan picking at the cue-tip, an action which could be punishable under snooker's "ungentlemanly conduct" rules.

But tournament director Mike Ganley said the footage was "inconclusive".

"We all know Ronnie's had tip problems," Ganley told BBC Sport.

"I spoke to Ronnie. He assures me the tip was loose and he couldn't go on."

Ganley explained the usual protocol if a player experiences problems with the cue-tip during a match.

"If a tip becomes loose or is damaged during a frame, the player can get an interval, mid-session or mid-frame," he said.

"We usually give them 15 minutes to redress the tip, have a knock with it and then go back out into the arena."

Asked how any proven deliberate damage to a cue-tip would be treated, Ganley admitted the matter was a grey area.

"It is a very difficult one because it is unprecedented.

"But it could come under the ungentlemanly conduct rule and maybe further action could be taken from that point."

O'Sullivan glued on a new tip - his 21st since arriving in Sheffield - with the help of friend and fellow professional Jimmy Michie.

And the world number one showed no ill effects after the change, making a 124 clearance on his return to the table.

Watch: O'Sullivan's cue-tip incident

Dott takes battle to O'Sullivan
28 Apr 06 |  Snooker


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