/ Snooker

Stephen Lee confident appeal will succeed

Updated: Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 11:02 | Comments

Stephen Lee: 'I have not done this. I'm going to clear my name'
Stephen Lee: 'I have not done this. I'm going to clear my name'

Stephen Lee believes he has "great grounds" for his appeal against his 12-year ban from snooker for match-fixing and will prove part of the case against him is "complete lies".

Former world number five Lee has protested his innocence throughout the investigation into claims surrounding seven matches in 2008 and 2009, but the 38-year-old was found guilty of fixing offences at an independent hearing arranged by Sport Resolutions UK.

He was handed his long ban on 25 September and also ordered to pay £40,000 in costs, but the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association announced on Wednesday he was appealing against the findings of the tribunal, the ban and the costs.

And on Thursday he told talkSPORT: "The appeal has gone in today. I'm pretty confident. We've got great grounds to appeal.

"I've got a barrister taking it on and we're looking pretty strong.

"The money they said had gone into my wife's bank account from betting is all lies. Complete lies and we've got proof of that.

"World Snooker actually paid my management firm in the Isle of Man and my Isle of Man management firm paid me.

"There is no wrongdoing in that. No wrong money has gone into that account at all. It's in the appeal.

"I'm feeling very, very confident. The accounts are all there to be seen. If I had done anything wrong I'd have looked for work.

"I wouldn't have been clutching at straws for 12 months. I have not done this. I'm going to clear my name. The facts will be coming out shortly."

"I'm bang up for it and I'm bang up for the fight. We'll see what happens now in the next few weeks" - Stephen Lee

"I've put all the money trails in place to show it is all legitimate and with all the statements from seven players and two top-class referees who saw no wrongdoing I'm looking forward to a bright future.

"I'm disappointed to be in this situation. Hopefully I can come through the other side.

"I want to get back playing. I really love this sport. There is no way in the world I would ever take any money to lose a frame or a match.

"With the money that is on offer, Barry Hearn has come in and given all the players the chance to make a great living to do what we love doing.

"I'm bang up for it and I'm bang up for the fight. We'll see what happens now in the next few weeks."

The WPBSA said on Wednesday that it had asked Sport Resolutions UK to handle the appeal and appoint an independent QC to chair the appeals committee.

At the time of imposing the longest ban in snooker history, the WPBSA said Lee was effectively facing the end of his career, given he would be 50 before being eligible to return.

A five-time ranking event winner and former World Championship semi-finalist, Lee faced charges over three matches in the 2008 Malta Cup, two matches at the 2008 UK Championship, one at the 2009 China Open and one at the 2009 World Championship.

In the written findings, tribunal chairman Adam Lewis QC said the player was an "unreliable" witness and a "weak" man who had been taken advantage of by others.

The WPBSA stated that Lee had been in contact with three sets of people who placed a variety of bets on his matches.

It added that on one occasion half the winnings of a successful bet were placed into Lee's wife's bank account, while in excess of £111,000 was placed on the specified matches, resulting in over £97,000 in winnings for those who made the bets.

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