Ronnie O’Sullivan has said he will no longer be “bullied” by the sport’s governing body after a disciplinary letter was sent to him.
Speaking after his 10-7 first round win over Gary Wilson on Sunday, the five-times world champion refused to speak to the press about the match itself because he said he does not want to risk being in breach of the game and getting a fine.
O’Sullivan received a disciplinary letter from the sport’s governing body the Worlds Professional Snooker and Billiards Association (WPBSA) following his Masters triumph in January. The letter said he would be in risk of getting fined should he continue to misbehave.
It followed incidents which saw O’Sullivan publicly criticise a referee and swear at a photographer during a semi-final encounter against Marco Fu.
Since receiving the letter, O’Sullivan has taken a stance with the media which has seen him give short answers to questions.
During one interview he sang the words of Oasis song ‘Wonderwall’ and in another with ITV Sport he answered the questions like a robot.
O’Sullivan has also expressed his displeasure on his Eurosport blog of the ‘tone’ and timing of the letters, claiming it has put him off his A game during big moments of the season.
On Sunday O’Sullivan lifted the lid on the situation, saying he no longer needs the hassle of being threatened by the sport’s governing body.
“I just want to play and have fun but I’m not going to get bullied or intimidated,” he said in a press conference.
“It (the letter) just ruined me for the next three tournaments. I’ve had it for six or seven years but I’m done with it. They have just pushed me a bit too far.
“I’m not prepared to put myself in a position where I am in breach of the game or if I say something bad about the refs (referees), the players, the venue. There are so many things there.
“I’m tarnishing the sport, I’m doing this. Please just drop me out. I’ve done 25 years service to the game. I don’t need that at 41.
“I’m not going to put up with anyone who think they can bully me.”
It was previously reported that World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn had told O’Sullivan to “grow up” ahead of the World Championship.
World Snooker responded to O’Sullivan’s comments on Monday – here’s the full story.