Stephen Lee, one of the leading players in the world, has been found guilty of fixing seven snooker matches.

The verdict was confirmed by Nigel Mawer, the chairman of the disciplinary committee of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPSBA).

Mawer told Press Association Sport that Lee, the 38-year-old former world number five, has been found guilty of match-fixing charges relating to seven matches.

The sanction will be announced at a separate hearing on September 24 and Lee could face a lifetime ban.

Lee was charged following an investigation into eight matches - four at the Malta Cup in 2008, two at the UK Championship 2008, and one each at the China Open in 2009 and the World Championship 2009.

He was suspended last October and an independent hearing was arranged by Sport Resolutions UK.

It is the biggest case of match-fixing to hit snooker since Australian Quinten Hann was suspended for eight years in 2006 for breaking rules governing match-fixing after he was caught in a sting by undercover reporters where he agreed to lose a game at the China Open in return for money.

Last year, Joe Jogia was banned for two years after the WPBSA found him guilty of breaching betting rules.