Ronnie O'Sullivan is set to face disciplinary action if he does not provide a satisfactory explanation for his walkout at the UK Championship.
O'Sullivan has a history of unpredictable behaviour
World Snooker chairman Sir Rodney Walker said the governing body would write to the player seeking answers.
"We have to talk to him and find out the reasons behind it," Walker said. "We will try to secure an explanation.
"In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, it is inevitable there has to be some form of punishment."
O'Sullivan dramatically conceded his quarter-final match against Stephen Hendry on Thursday.
The former world champion gave up the match mid-frame when trailing 1-4 to the Scot and then abruptly left the arena.
"It was immensely disappointing," Walker told BBC Sport. "Ronnie is a star attraction and someone we want to showcase the sport.
He cannot continue to perform in this way without some form of punishment
"But sadly there is a flaw there which we believe we have to deal with.
"Ronnie either needs help or some sort of counselling because he can't go on letting the sport down.
"We can't allow a player, even of Ronnie's prominence, to behave in the way he did without answering the charge and giving an explanation of his behaviour."
Walker said he understood that O'Sullivan "doesn't identify himself" with the statement issued by his PR company later on Thursday, in which he apologised to Hendry and fans who had paid to come and watch him.
Walker added that the chairman of World Snooker's disciplinary panel would be writing to O'Sullivan inviting him to give an explanation, with a decision over possible disciplinary action taken in the new year.
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"The decision may be not to punish him, but to help and provide him with some assistance," Walker added.
"But he cannot continue to perform in this way without some form of punishment."
Walker earlier told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "At some stage I suppose you begin to run out of patience. I doubt whether we've reached that stage yet."