Lengthy ban for Jogia
WPBSA take action after investigation into unusual betting patterns
Last Updated: 26/07/12 7:43pm
Joe Jogia has been banned from snooker until the end of the 2014 World Championship after an investigation into suspicious betting patterns ahead of a Snooker Shoot-out match.
Jogia's game against Matthew Selt at January's event was investigated by the sport's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), and betting was suspended after a bookmaker reported it had been the subject of unusual betting patterns.
The 36-year-old was provisionally suspended and the WPBSA confirmed in a statement: "Joe Jogia was today (July 25) banned from involvement in the game of snooker and billiards until the conclusion of the 2014 World Championship and ordered to pay £2,000 as a contribution towards the cost of the hearing and investigation of the case."
Jogia was found to have breached section 18.104.22.168 of the WPBSA members' rules, which states "it shall be a breach of these rules for a member to...engage in any conduct ...that is corrupt or fraudulent, or creates an actual or apparent conflict of interest for the member, or otherwise risks impairing public confidence in the integrity and/or the honest and orderly conduct of the tour and/or any tournament or match."
WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: "In protecting the public image of our sport, the WPBSA has strong links with the gambling commission and the betting industry.
"The integrity of our sport is of paramount importance and today's outcome highlights how seriously the WPBSA will treat such matters."
The WPBSA statement added: "The Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA has today heard the case of Joe Jogia in relation to the suspicious betting patterns on his match with Matthew Selt that was due to take place at the Sky Snooker Shootout at Blackpool on Saturday 28th January 2012.
"It was alleged that a series of bets were placed on Matthew Selt to win this match and the pattern of betting was deemed to be suspicious. As a result betting was suspended on the match on the evening of 23rd January 2012. On 26th January 2012, Joe Jogia withdrew from the match citing an injury and the match did not take place.
"An investigation was conducted by the WPBSA which found that on and between 20th and 24th January 2012, a total of 19 bets were made or attempted, all at different betting shops in the Leicester area, on Matthew Selt winning this match against Joe Jogia. Fourteen bets to a total value of £4,830 were placed and four bets to a total of £2,300 and one bet of an unknown amount were declined.
"It was established that the two persons placing the bets were known to Joe Jogia as associates and telephone records demonstrate that in the period leading up to and following the placing of bets Joe Jogia was in repeated contact with them.
"There was no contact prior to 16th January 2012 then he sent 33 text messages and made three calls to one of the persons placing the bets and 42 text messages and one call to the other. Joe has failed to provide a consistent or detailed explanation as to the reason for the contact.
"Initially, Joe Jogia claimed that the reason for the betting must be that people were aware of an injury that he had suffered, but four of the suspicious bets were placed before he claimed to have suffered the injury and a further seven of the bets were placed before he sought medical attention.
"Although there was no evidence to show that Joe Jogia would have gained financially, the Disciplinary Committee found that the frequency and timing of this contact, his lack of a consistent explanation for the contact and the suspicions raised by the pattern of bets placed by his associates created an actual or apparent conflict of interest for him as a member of the WPBSA, or otherwise risked impairing public confidence in the integrity of his match with Matthew Selt."