After a complaint made to the WPBSA by WST, Jamie O’Neill was charged with breaches of the WPBSA Members Rules and his Players Contract with WSL as a result of incidents at the Northern Ireland Qualifying Event in Leicester on Monday 23rd August 2021.
The allegation was that Mr O’Neill was drunk on the morning of his match and that he made inappropriate comments and gestures toward two female members of staff. He then played his qualifying match whilst under the influence of alcohol.
The case was heard by the independent WPBSA Disciplinary Committee where after a contested hearing Mr O’Neill was found to be in breach of the WPBSA Rules and his Players Contract.
In making their decision on sanction, the Committee took into account that the finding of the Disciplinary Committee puts Mr O’Neill in breach of a suspended penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Committee on 27th May 2021. In addition, Mr O’Neill has breached two previous suspended penalties imposed under the WPBSA Disciplinary process.
Mr O’Neill was suspended from playing or being involved in WST events, effective immediately until 23.59 on 31 July 2022; and to pay a fine of £1,500 and to pay £3,200 towards the costs of the hearings.
Mr O’Neill will be suspended for the Championship League and the European Masters.
WSL Players Contract extracts:
- Obligations of the Player
3.1 General Obligations
In consideration for the Player having the opportunity to participate in the WSL Events by WSL entering into this Agreement with the Player, the Player shall:
3.1.5 Behave in a professional and reputable manner befitting a professional sportsperson. 3.1.7 Not be under the influence of alcohol whilst competing in a WSL Event and at all times comply with the WPBSA Anti-Doping rules.
WPBSA Members Rules extract
1.3 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 full WPBSA Members Rules can be viewed here.