Hearing date set for Lee appeal

Updated: Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 18:06

Stephen Lee's appeal against his 12-year ban for match-fixing will begin at the end of January, snooker's world governing body has announced.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) on Wednesday confirmed the appeal would be heard in two parts, the first of those to be held in London on 30 January.

The former world number five has protested his innocence throughout the investigation into claims surrounding seven matches in 2008 and 2009, but was found guilty of fixing offences at an independent hearing.

He was handed his long ban on 25 September and also ordered to pay £40,000 in costs.

Lee appealed the verdict in early October, after which WPBSA asked Sport Resolutions UK to manage the process and appoint an independent person to chair the committee.

Edwin Glasgow QC was subsequently appointed to head up the appeal hearing, with Peter Stockwell appointed as a second independent member.

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 of the initial independent hearing, tribunal chairman Adam Lewis QC said Lee 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 more than £97,000 in winnings for those who made the bets.

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