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Snooker: First part of Lee appeal is dismissed

Stephen Lee has lost the first stage of an appeal as he challenges his 12-year ban.

The 39-year-old from Trowbridge was given the suspension by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) last September after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing dating back to 2008.

A two-part appeal began with Lee, who denies committing any offence, challenging the use of Adam Lewis QC as chair of the independent disciplinary tribunal that heard the case.

Lewis also represented Leyton Orient, the football club owned by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, in their attempt to secure a judicial review of West Ham being handed the Olympic Stadium tenancy.

Lee claimed in his appeal that there was a conflict of interest, given Hearn has worked closely with Lewis outside snooker.

However the WPBSA announced yesterday that an independent appeals body that considered the challenge earlier this month has rejected Lee's argument. Lee will challenge the guilty verdict in the second part of the appeal.

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