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Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Snooker faces match-fixing probe

Snooker graphic
Snooker is no stranger to betting scandals

Snooker's Malta Cup is under investigation after irregular betting patterns were spotted during last week's invitational tournament.

The Gambling Commission, Britain's betting regulator, told BBC Sport it had received information from a "small number of licensees".

Former players Quinten Hann and Peter Francisco have been recipients of bans for matters relating to match-fixing.

Francisco received a five-year ban while Hann got an eight-year sentence.

Snooker's governing body, WPBSA, added: "We have as agreement with the Association of British Bookmakers whereby we are contacted confidentially if and when irregular betting patterns are detected.

"In such cases the match in question is carefully monitored by our most senior officials and a thorough assessment of the players' performance is made.

"In past incidents where players have been judged guilty of match fixing or intention to match-fix, which are extremely rare, we have taken a particularly stringent line."

In 1995, South African Francisco received his punishment after an investigation into his World Championship match against Jimmy White.

There were an unusual number of bets on a 10-2 win for White, which was the eventual outcome.

Meanwhile, Hann was handed his term in 2006 after a WPBSA investigation into a story by The Sun which alleged that the Australian agreed to lose a game at the 2005 China Open in return for money. Hann denied the charges.

see also
Guilty Hann given eight-year ban
17 Feb 06 |  Snooker
1995: Hendry breaks Bond
12 Apr 02 |  World Champs 2002

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