WPBSA Statement

As a result of an incident at the World Billiards Championships in Leeds on 18th October 2013, Mike Russell was reported to the WPBSA for an alleged breach of members rules.

The allegation is that he assaulted a female delegate and was abusive and threatening towards other delegates at the championship.

The WPBSA have carefully considered the allegation and statements made by witnesses. The WPBSA have concluded that it would not be appropriate for Mike Russell to continue to compete in the World Billiards events whilst this allegation is investigated. Therefore WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend Mike Russell from competition and attendance at events whilst this enquiry is ongoing.

This means that Mike Russell will not be able to compete in the World Billiards Championships starting on 21st October 2013

Subject to his right to appeal, this suspension will remain in place until either the conclusion of the investigation or any resultant hearings.

The decision taken by the WPBSA is fully endorsed by the IBSF.

The WPBSA Members Rules under consideration 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.

The WPBSA Chairman has the power to impose a suspension before charge under the WPBSA Disciplinary Rules:

4.1 The Disciplinary Committee will normally consider a complaint made against a Member before it exercises the right to impose a suspension on the Member concerned, but where a complaint is deemed to be of a serious or potentially serious nature, a power to impose a suspension forthwith may be exercised by the Chairman of the Board or in his absence, his nominee, who is a board member but not a player or a member of the Disciplinary Committee.