Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon
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Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon banned from snooker for match fixing

Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon has been banned from snooker for six years after an investigation into the player’s match fixing.

The Thai, who competed professionally on the Main Tour between 2010 and 2016, will serve two years and nine months of the suspension unconditionally.

The remaining time till be suspended, meaning he could have the option to return to competitive snooker in 2025.

The 28 year-old, a former world number 67, admitted to fixing the outcome of six matches between 2013 and 2015.

Tirapongpaiboon had been on the verge of a return to the professional circuit this season after coming through the inaugural Asian Q School tournament in Bangkok.

Shortly afterwards, however, the WPBSA and World Snooker Tour declined to offer him a tour card and soon after charged him with match-fixing allegations.

The WPBSA Statement

The WPBSA and Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon

At a hearing that took place before the independent WPBSA Disciplinary Committee on 25th October 2022, Tirapongpaiboon admitted serious breaches of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations. This followed investigations, working closely with Sportradar in 2013, 2015 and 2022.

As a result of the decision of the WPBSA Board to refuse Tirapongpaiboon membership of the WPBSA in June 2022, he fully cooperated with the new WPBSA investigation into match fixing. He admitted to fixing the outcome of six matches between 2013 and 2015.

The finding of the Tribunal was that the starting point for Tirapongpaiboon was a suspension of nine years. He was given credit for his plea of guilty which reduced the suspension to six years. Of that period, he will serve a suspension of two years nine months unconditionally. The remaining three years and three months will be suspended, provided there is compliance with the terms agreed between Tirapongpaiboon and the WPBSA to provide significant assistance to the WPBSA in its anti-corruption work.

Provided he complies with his agreement with the WPBSA, his suspension will run from 15th June 2022 until 14th March 2025. He was ordered to pay £1,925 towards the WPBSA costs.

Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA said: “This case shows that if a player chooses to fix a match they will be caught, no matter how long after the event. Thanawat has shown true remorse and wants to help ensure that other players do not make the mistakes that he did as a young player by assisting the WPBSA in its player education program. This has been reflected in the sanction. This case shows how seriously the WPBSA treats match fixing.”

The full findings of the Independent Tribunal can be found here.

Tirapongpaiboon has until 1st December 2022 to appeal the decision of the Tribunal.

Source: WPBSA

Featured photo credit: WST

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