Snooker player John Higgins yesterday insisted he is 100 per cent innocent despite a second week of apparently damning revelations about him by the News of the World.
Yesterday, the NoW revealed claims from a Ladbrokes employee that Higgins had sought to bet against himself during his snooker World Championship final against Shaun Murphy.
Last week the NoW revealed that it had video evidence of Higgins apparently agreeing to take a £261,000 bribe to lose frames. He was videoed meeting an undercover reporter in Ukraine.
The three-times world champion has been suspended from professional snooker following the allegations. He said yesterday: "In the proceedings I will vigorously defend my name. As you will appreciate, I cannot comment on details that may impact on these disciplinary matters. I have been accused in the media of cheating; I have been accused of planning to fix snooker matches. To both of those charges, I am 100 per cent innocent.
"Snooker is my life. Snooker has been good to me and I hope that over the years I have been good for snooker. I will repeat again what I said in my earlier statement. I have never been involved in any form of snooker match fixing. In my 18 years playing professional snooker I have never deliberately missed a shot, never mind intentionally lost a frame or a match. I will not allow anyone to damage my hard earned reputation. I will clear my name. I am determined of that."
The News of the World quoted an unnamed former Ladbrokes employee as the basis for its latest revelations.
Dominic Ponsford is editor of the Press Gazette.