Snooker's Jamie O'Neill suspended for playing drunk and for inappropriate behaviour towards female staff
Jamie O'Neill, the current world No 112, suspended until August and fined after breach of WPBSA rules; incidents occurred at the Northern Ireland Qualifying Event in Leicester in August last year
Last Updated: 19/05/22 4:04pm
English snooker player Jamie O'Neill has been suspended after he was found to have played drunk and acted inappropriately towards female staff.
A complaint made by the World Snooker Tour (WST) to the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) eventually brought to light the incidents which occurred at the Northern Ireland Qualifying Event in Leicester on Monday August 23, 2021.
O'Neill was said to have been drunk on the morning of his match, made inappropriate comments and gestures toward two female members of staff, and 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 O'Neill was found to be in breach of the WPBSA Rules and his Players Contract.
As a result, O'Neill - the current world No 112 - was suspended from playing or being involved in WST events until August, and ordered to pay a fine of £1,500 and to pay £3,200 towards the costs of the hearings.
The 35-year-old will be suspended for the Championship League and the European Masters.
"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."
O'Neill received a two-event suspension last year for inappropriate behaviour towards hotel and WST staff and breaching hotel rules, while he also received suspended fines over the 2020/21 season for inappropriate comments and live streams posted on social media.
He reached a high point on the world rankings of No 79 last year after reaching the last 16 of the Scottish Open.