JOE JOGIA has been banned from all involvement in snooker for two years and fined £2,000 following an investigation into suspicious betting patterns, it has been announced tonight.
The ban, which runs until the conclusion of the 2013/14 season, follows the investigation into Jogia’s Sky Snooker shoot-out match against Matthew Selt in January when he pulled out of the match due to injury.
But the investigation conducted by the WPBSA found that on and between 20th and 24th January 2012, a total of 19 bets were made or attempted, all at different betting shops in the Leicester area on Matthew Selt to winning this match against Joe Jogia.
Fourteen of those bets made up a total value of £4,830, four other bets totalled £2,300 and 1 bet of an unknown amount was declined.
It was established two people who placed some of the bets were known to Jogia as associates and telephone records demonstrate that in the period leading up to and following the placing of bets the Leicester man was in repeated contact with them.
There was no contact prior to 16th January 2012 when he then sent more than 30 text messages and made three calls to one individual placing the bets and 42 text messages and one call to the other. During the hearing, Jogia failed to provide a consistent or detailed explanation as to the reason for the contact.
Initially, Jogia claimed the reason for the betting was because people were aware of an injury he had suffered, but the investigation found four of the suspicious bets were placed before he claimed to have suffered the injury and a further seven bets were placed before he sought medical attention.
Although there was no evidence to show Jogia gained financially, the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee found the frequency and timing of this contact, his lack of a consistent explanation for the contact and the suspicions raised by the pattern of bets placed by his associates, created a conflict of interest for him as a Member of the WPBSA.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “In protecting the public image of our sport the WPBSA has strong links with the gambling commission and the betting industry. The integrity of our sport is of paramount importance and today’s outcome highlights how seriously the WPBSA will treat such matters.”