Recently, WBL advised Mike Russell that we regarded his behaviour over an extended period and involving many incidents as being unacceptable and damaging to the sport. We advised him that we would reject his entry to all future WBL events, unless a satisfactory apology was received. As a limited company WBL may reject entries as it sees fit. We made it clear that the apology would need to include assurances to refrain from any future undesirable behaviour or actions.
On the 14th February we received correspondence from Mike Russell. He disputed that he had a case to answer. Despite this, we decided to accept the apology that followed as it contained all the assurances we had requested.
One of the assurances given by him in writing was: “I had previously taken steps to have myself removed from areas of forums and social media. I shall refrain from making further derogatory remarks that may cause unnecessary offence or distress to anyone connected with the game”.
Unfortunately, within 72 hours of making this assurance, Mike Russell made a forum post that could cause offence to a number of people connected to the game (the post was later removed).
As a result of his latest action, we have resolved to reject his entry to all WBL events. He has been advised accordingly. Nigel Mawer, WPBSA Integrity Officer, was consulted on this matter.
UPDATE – 24/05/2020:
Mr Russell has been notified that the WBL Board, in consultation with the WPBSA, will be reviewing this decision in February 2021. Mr Russell will be able to submit written representations to the WBL Board, or have representations made on his behalf, by 10th February 2021.