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Wiltshire snooker hopeful shocked by Lee guilty verdict
5:10pm Saturday 21st September 2013 in News
UP-AND-COMING amateur Wiltshire snooker player Ben Harrison is devastated that his idol Stephen Lee has been caught up in match-fixing.
Mr Harrison, 22, from Hawkeridge, has ambitions to become a professional and has trained with Trowbridge-based Lee, who was found guilty of fixing seven matches, on Monday.
Mr Harrison, who plays in some world tour events as an amateur, said: “This is something which should not happen in the sport and I would never dream of doing anything like that.
“It needs to be eradicated but I’m not going to slag Steve off as we don’t know all the details of it. I hope he’s not going to be the only one made an example of as there are obviously others involved.”
Shocked to hear that Lee had been found guilty, he added: “I really like Steve and I have known him for a number of years. He was my idol growing up and I’ve really enjoyed practicing with him as I’ve been making my way.
“He will be a sad loss to the sport, if he can’t play again, as the way he hits the ball is the best I have ever seen.”
Accusations of match-fixing have haunted Lee’s career in recent years with him being arrested by West Midlands Police, in 2010, following suspicious betting patterns with the Crown Prosecution Service dropping the investigation in October 2012.
Soon after, he was suspended from competing by World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, following a Premier League match with John Higgins.
During his suspension, which applies to tournaments sanctioned by World Snooker, Lee, 38, has still been playing the game for money at other events and exhibition matches.
In 2001, Lee failed a routine drugs test, after a Champions Cup event in Brighton with cannabis being found in his system.
He was ordered to forfeit his £7,500 prize money and spent £30,000 trying to clear his name.
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