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Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Wednesday, 26 May 2010 14:14 UK

Dott hopes to see Higgins cleared of bribery claims

Snooker player Graeme Dott

Dott says he is back in love with snooker

By Phil Goodlad

Former world champion Graeme Dott hopes those at the centre of the latest match-fixing scandal to rock snooker will be cleared of any wrong doing.

Three-time world champion John Higgins and manager Pat Mooney are the subject of an investigation into allegations they were prepared to throw frames.

"It's hard to comment on it with an investigation ongoing," Dott told BBC Scotland's Sport Monthly.

"Hopefully, when it comes through, both parties will be found innocent."

Dott's good friend Higgins has been suspended from all tournaments pending the outcome of the investigation, having been filmed by the News of the World apparently agreeing to take a £261,000 bribe to lose frames in a future contest in Ukraine.

Mooney, who has since lost Dott as a client, immediately resigned from the board of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).

Higgins insists he did nothing wrong and has vowed to clear his name.

I just wanted to sit by myself and fester. It was horrible, horrible

Graeme Dott on his successful fight against depression

The story broke on the morning of this year's World Championship final, which Dott lost 18-13 to Australia's Neil Robertson.

And the Glaswegian, who won the tournament in 2006, agrees the revelations overshadowed what should have been snookers' biggest moment of the year.

"It did, but then, if it was a better final, people may would have spoken about it (the match) more," said Dott.

"I was obviously amazed the same as any other player when I heard.

"The only difference was I had the final of the world championships to play in."

The match-fixing allegations could not have come at a worse time for snooker.

The 2010 World Championships were the first since World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn announced his plans to reinvent a sport that has been struggling to capture the public interest of years gone by.

It also overshadowed a remarkable comeback for Dott, who has overcome the depths of depression to return to the table.

"I couldn't do anything - I didn't want to do anything," said the 33-year-old, reflecting on his battle with the illness.

"I just wanted to sit by myself and fester. It was horrible, horrible.

"You see people you know in the street and you don't want to talk to them, so you just avoid your friends."

Dott's depression was brought on by the death of his manager and father-in-law not long after he became world champion.

It got so bad that he contemplated suicide.

"You get the thoughts, no doubt you get the thoughts," he explained. "You just think life can't get any worse. But there's no way I'd have done it."

Dott is now fully recovered and has got his appetite back for snooker.

And the excellent form that took him to the final at the Crucible suggests better times ahead at a time when the sport is crying out for positive stories.

You can see more on Graeme Dott's story on Sport Monthly, 26 May on BBC2 Scotland at 1930 BST.

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see also
Higgins determined to clear name
09 May 10 |  Snooker
Dott splits from manager Mooney
07 May 10 |  Snooker
Robertson beats Dott to win title
04 May 10 |  Snooker
Hearn vows to wipe out 'sickness'
03 May 10 |  Snooker
Dott to play despite depression
17 Apr 08 |  Snooker
Dott's year of fame and pain
19 Apr 07 |  Snooker

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