The world’s number one snooker player has been suspended on suspicion of accepting bribes to throw frames in four matches later this year. The John Higgins snooker scandal has thrown a dark cloud over the world championships being played right now.

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Higgins apparently agreed to accept nearly $400,000 dollars to throw the frames because he says he thought he was being threatened by the Russian mob. A video was released of John Higgins accepting the bribe just before the finals of the World Snooker Championships.

Higgins is a three time World Snooker Champion winning in 1997, 2007, and 2009. He claims that in the video, he and his manager Pat Mooney agreed to accept the bribe because he thought that perhaps it was the safe thing to do. He said he didn’t know exactly what the men who approached him were getting at. The incident happened in Kiev.

The chairman of the WPBSA said that a full investigation was forthcoming and that anyone found to be fixing matches would face an extensive ban. The chairman said:

“We cannot afford, nor will I tolerate, anybody or anything that adversely affects the integrity of the game,” he said. “I am not prepared to see the sport die under this type of publicity.”

The John Higgins snooker scandal has far reaching implications. Not only does Pat Mooney represent Higgins, he also represents Scotland’s Graeme Dott who is competing in the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield, England.