Higgins expects doubters
John Higgins admits he expects both snooker players and fans alike to question his integrity when he returns in November.
Last Updated: 17/09/10 8:35pm
John Higgins admits he expects both snooker players and fans alike to question his integrity when he returns to the sport in November.
The three-time world champion was cleared of match-fixing allegations at a two-day tribunal earlier this month but admitted breaching rules relating to betting.
Higgins admitted he intentionally gave the impression to undercover News of the World reporters in the Ukraine that he would throw frames for financial gain.
However, the world number one insisted throughout that he had done so out of fear and had no intention of carrying out their wishes.
Higgins' version of events was accepted by the independent panel which heard the case but he expects that others will not believe him when he returns to the circuit.
"I don't think it will ever be resolved," the 35-year-old Scot said. "There are still some things in the hands of lawyers. I have got to trust them because they have been guiding me through this all the way.
"But in a sense I would love it to be behind me.
"It's going to be the biggest thing that will shape my life and my family's life. It's not just me, it has been my family that's been through it.
"But I have come out the other end hopefully and once I get back on the table...
"I know it's going to be tough, I know there will be players who doubt me and fans who doubt me but all I can do is just get on and be myself.
"I have got the right people behind me in my family."
Although Higgins was cleared of the most serious charge he faced, his former manager Pat Mooney was permanently suspended from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.
Another consequence of the case is the formation of an integrity unit for the sport, to be launched by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn on Monday.
Hearn will be joined by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens and David Douglas, a former detective chief superintendent in the same force and head of the WPBSA's disciplinary committee.