Ban has taken living away from me, says snooker star
Leicester snooker star Joe Jogia is giving lessons to make a living after being banned from the sport.
The former world number 47 is acting as a tutor to private customers after receiving a two-year playing ban for breaching betting rules.
The 37-year-old player had been appealing the ban, imposed by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) in July, but withdrew his appeal this week.
Joe said: "I intended to go through with the appeal but my solicitor wanted the money up front and I could not afford it. I feel as if I have been treated badly by the WPBSA over the matter. This ban is effectively taking my living away from me.
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"All I can do now is give people a few snooker lessons in Leicester. I am available for hire and am doing what I can to pay the bills."
The WPBSA launched an inquiry into suspicious betting patterns on Mr Jogia's match with Matthew Selt, which was due to take place at the Sky Snooker Shootout in Blackpool on Saturday, January 28.
The investigation centred on a series of bets which were placed on Selt to win. The pattern of betting was deemed to be suspicious and, as a result, betting was suspended on the match on the evening of January 23. Mr Jogia then withdrew from the match, citing an injury.
The investigation found that between January 20 and 24, a total of 19 bets were made or attempted, all at different betting shops in the Leicester area, on Selt to win.
Fourteen bets, with a total value of £4,830 were placed. Four bets totalling £2,300 and one bet of an unknown amount were declined.
The WPBSA said it was established that the two people placing the bets were known to Mr Jogia, and that telephone records demonstrated that in the period leading up to, and following, the placing of bets, the player was in repeated contact with them.
The WPBSA said Mr Jogia had failed to provide a consistent or detailed explanation as to the reason for the contact.
Although there was no evidence to show Mr Jogia would have gained financially, the disciplinary committee found the frequency and timing of the 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 the Selt match.
Joe has been banned until 2014, and ordered to pay £2,000 as a contribution towards the cost of the hearing and investigation.
WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: "It is disappointing Joe chose to go down the route of an appeal that, in the view of our legal advisers, had no substance to it. This has forced the WPBSA to bear significant legal costs in preparation for the appeal."
However, Leicester snooker legend Willie Thorne defended Mr Jogia. He said: "I really feel for Joe. He is not a cheat. I hope he finds enough work out there to keep him going."