Former World Championship quarter-finalist Jamie Jones has said that he can put “the worst year of my life behind me” after completing a one-year ban from the sport.
The Welshman was suspended in October last year when it was alleged that he was “party to, or facilitated, the manipulation of the outcome” of a match between David John and Graeme Dott at the International Championship qualifiers in 2016.
Jones was never under any suspicious of match-fixing himself, rather his failure to bring his knowledge of false play to the relevant authorities was brought into question.
Countryman John later admitted to fixing the outcome of two matches and was banned from the sport for five years.
While Jones was ranked just outside the top 32 in the world at the time of his suspension, being unable to complete the 2018/19 season had a disastrous impact on his professional career.
The 31 year-old’s accumulated ranking points didn’t prove to be enough to keep him inside the top 64 and he was duly relegated from the Main Tour in May.
On Saturday, Jones released a statement via his Jamie Jones Snooker Facebook page and outlined his drive to make amends in the sport.
“Today is the day my twelve-month suspension from playing professional snooker ends,” opened the former European under-19 champion.
“I can finally put the worst year of my life behind me. One year ago, everything changed.”
“Twenty years of hard work on the table was taken away from me. At first, I struggled to leave my house.
“The way my name was wrongly spread across the press for allegedly being involved in ‘match fixing’ left me in a position where I couldn’t defend myself.
“I felt as though everywhere I went, I had to answer to people asking me how many matches I had fixed – which was later shown to be none. I never thought I could feel as low as I did.
“The best thing I have done to get myself out of the mental hole I found myself in is to get a job.
“Getting up and going to work has built my confidence back up, allowing me to be happy again.
“I’m so lucky to have all my family and friends around me who have helped me through this.
“The best part of it all, is that I now have a new family member with the recent birth of my little boy, who has made me more determined than ever to lead a positive life.
“I have never felt such a desire to make a success of my snooker career.
“I have learnt from my mistake in failing to report, but I found myself in a difficult position and, sadly, made decisions that were not in keeping with my otherwise good reputation in the game.
“I now feel so driven by the dark times I have been through and can’t wait to be back doing what I do best – playing professional snooker.”
Jones may have to wait until the next Q School in 2020 to be granted with an opportunity to regain his professional status.