Snooker ace Ross Muir cleared in match-fix probe

Ross Muir. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Ross Muir. Picture: Gordon Fraser

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A SCOTS snooker ace has spoken of his relief at being cleared after he was caught up in a match-fixing probe.

A match last year involving Ross Muir was investigated by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association due to unusual betting patterns.

The 18-year-old from Musselburgh, East Lothian, was taking part in the Shanghai Masters qualifying stage in England last year when he beat Thailand’s Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon by five frames to nil.

Unusually high sums of money were said to have been placed on Muir to win - causing bookmakers to suspend betting.

The teenager was “shocked” to discover his match was under investigation and admitted he “didn’t fully understand what was being alleged”.

Now Muir is keen to move forward with his career having secured a first round win over David Grace, 10-6, at the Dafabet World Championship Qualifying in Sheffield.

Ross said: ““I have always known that I had done nothing wrong.

“The investigation wasn’t focused on me so I have tried to just put it all to the back of my mind and focus on practising.

“Initially I was shocked because I didn’t fully understand what was being alleged.

“Since then I have just kept my head down and focused on my job as a professional snooker player which is something I am very proud of and something that I am working hard to make sure continues at the end of my two year tour card.”

After the match it was announced that Muir’s was one of two matches from the tournament being investigated by snooker authorities after betting irregularities.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) said: “The WPBSA’s investigation process included liaising with partners in the betting industry and conducting enquiries in the UK and Thailand.

“Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon and Passakorn Suwannawat were interviewed by the WPBSA as part of this process.

“The WPBSA have not found evidence to show any link between the Thai players and the suspicious betting activity.

“The WPBSA will therefore take no further action in relation to this suspicious betting.”