A snooker player has been banned from the game after making inappropriate comments and gestures to two women whilst drunk during a game in Leicester.
Jamie O’Neill, who’s the current number 112 in the world rankings, has also been fined £1,500 for the offence which happened last August 23 at the Northern Ireland Qualifying Event at Leicester’s Morningside Arena.
The allegation was that Mr O’Neill was drunk on the morning of his match and that he made inappropriate comments and gestures toward two female members of staff. He then played his qualifying match whilst under the influence of alcohol.
The case was heard by the The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association’s Disciplinary Committee, where after a contested hearing Mr O’Neill was found to be in breach of the WPBSA Rules and his Players Contract.
The committee’s decision was to suspend Mr O’Neill from playing or being involved in WST until August, which will mean him missing the Championship League and the European Masters
He was also ordered to pay a £3,200 towards the costs of the hearings on top of his £1,500 fine.
The decision against the 35-year-old came after an official complaint was made against him following the match, which saw him beat Michael Judge 4-2, one of just three wins for O’Neill last season.
A statement from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) said: “The allegation was that Mr O’Neill was drunk on the morning of his match and that he made inappropriate comments and gestures toward two female members of staff. He then played his qualifying match whilst under the influence of alcohol.”The case was heard by the independent WPBSA Disciplinary Committee where after a contested hearing Mr O’Neill was found to be in breach of the WPBSA Rules and his Players Contract.”
It isn’t the first time the snooker player has felt the wrath of the WPBSA after missing two events through suspension last year.
On that occasion he behaved inappropriately towards hotel and WST staff, as well as breaching hotel rules.During the 2020-21 season, O’Neill received suspended fines for inappropriate comments and lives streams posted on social media.
Those earlier incidents were also considered when deciding O’Neill’s punishment.
The WPBSA statement went on to say: “In making their decision on sanction, the Committee took into account that the finding of the Disciplinary Committee puts Mr O’Neill in breach of a suspended penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Committee on 27th May 2021. In addition, Mr O’Neill has breached two previous suspended penalties imposed under the WPBSA Disciplinary process.”