Ronnie O’Sullivan has released the following statement on his website:
“I’m very sorry that I had to officially withdraw from the International Championship, due to ongoing health problems. I would have loved to be fit to compete in Chengdu but I have been advised by my doctor not to travel.I want to sincerely apologise to Worldsnooker, the sponsors and the fans for the disappointment caused. I look forward to see you all soon.”
This isn’t the first time that O’Sullivan has withdrawn from big competitions and he has been notorious in recent years for pulling out of events in the Far East.
However, this comes as a bit of a surprise given the fact that he was already on a six-month hiatus from the sport following his World Championship success in May.
Another factor in his decision is the timing, which comes on the eve of the inaugural event which starts on Sunday.
In the last few weeks the ‘Rocket’ has been performing in a Legends Tour of exhibitions alongside Jimmy White, climaxing at the Echo Arena in Liverpool last night.
Fans will, I’m sure, be left hugely disappointed by his absence. It remains to be seen when O’Sullivan will indeed make his return to the sport.