As a result of incidents at the 2013 World Billiards Championships in Leeds on 18th October 2013, Mike Russell was reported to the WPBSA for alleged breaches of the members’ rules.
At a Hearing before the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee that took place on 29th November 2013 in York, Mike Russell admitted two breaches of the WPBSA Disciplinary Rules and after a full hearing he was found guilty of two further breaches of the WPBSA Members Rules.
The circumstances were that on Friday 18th October 2013 at the World Billiards Championships in Leeds, he was abusive to other delegates and he assaulted a female delegate. On Sunday 20th October 2013 his behaviour was threatening towards two other delegates at the World Championships. He subsequently posted abusive and intimidatory posts on social networking sites.
The sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Committee is a 12 month suspension from attending or competing in WBL events. All but 3 months of this will be suspended. This will run from 20th October 2013.
Should he be found guilty of any breach of the WPBSA Rules up to and including the 2014 World Billiards Championship final, the Disciplinary Committee will, unless there are extreme mitigating circumstances, impose the deferred 9 months of the suspension in addition to any penalty that may be imposed for the new offence. This means that Mike Russell will be free to attend and compete in WBL events from 20th January 2014.
He was ordered to pay £500 towards the costs of the case.
Under the WPBSA Disciplinary Rules Mike Russell has a right to appeal the findings and the sentence imposed.
The relevant WPBSA Members Rules are as follows:
1.1 Members shall, at all times (i.e. whether at a Tournament or not), behave in a proper and correct manner consistent with their status as professional sportsmen. Members shall not do anything which is likely to intimidate, offend, insult, humiliate or discriminate against any other person on the grounds of disability, their religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin, sex or sexual orientation.
1.2 A Member shall not make or cause to be made any statement or commit or cause to be committed any act which in the reasonable view of the WPBSA is likely to bring into disrepute the games of snooker and/or billiards.
For and on behalf of WPBSA Limited