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Snooker ace Higgins innocent of con: agent

Snooker star John Higgins' agent yesterday insisted that the former world number one is “100% innocent” of match-fixing charges.

Mr Higgins was attending the opening day of a two-day tribunal in London to answer charges stemming from a press investigation.

“The tribunal has just started,” Jim Cassidy said. “John Higgins is 100% innocent of match-fixing.”

Mr Higgins, a three-time world champion, is answering the charges along with his manager, Pat Mooney. The 35-year-old Scot was appearing at a behind-closed-doors hearing organised by Sport Resolutions, a London-based independent dispute resolution service.

Mr Higgins was suspended by World Snooker after the sport was rocked by frame-fixing allegations in the News of the World newspaper on May 2 — the first day of the World Championship final.

The newspaper alleged Higgins and his manager had agreed to take money to influence matches.

Mr Higgins and Mr Mooney travelled to Ukraine where they met with undercover reporters posing as businessmen who they believed wanted to set up tournaments in the country.

Mr Higgins and Mr Mooney ran the World Series of Snooker, which staged tournaments in countries the professional tour did not visit.

The News of the World alleged they agreed to accept £261,000 for fixing four frames in matches at the events.

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