On 23rd August 2012 the Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA heard the case of Ronnie O’Sullivan who had been referred to them by World Snooker Limited. The circumstances alleged were that he had entered and subsequently withdrawn from eleven Tournaments without reasonable excuse between August 2010 and March 2012.
After considering evidence provided on behalf of Mr O’Sullivan and independent medical advice, the Disciplinary Committee found that it could not be shown to the required standard that he did not have a reasonable excuse in relation to his late withdrawal from the one event in 2011 and the two events in 2012. He was however found not to have a reasonable excuse in relation to the eight late withdrawals in 2010.
This is in breach of the following Members Rules:
WPBSA Members Rules and Regulations: Obligations of Members
1 General obligations
Rule 1.3 of the WPBSA Members Rules 2009 – January 2012 states:
1.3 A Member must play in a Tournament in which he is entered.
In making their decision on sanction the Committee took into account that these late withdrawals had taken place before there was a player’s contract and there was no formal process in place for dealing with this, and that Mr O’Sullivan had already paid fines to World Snooker Limited regarding the later breaches of contract issues.
The Committee imposed a fine of £1,000, suspended for the remainder of the 2012/13 season, a formal warning as to his future conduct and for him to pay £1,000 towards the costs of the hearings.