SNOOKER: Lee eyes Crucible return
6:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in Sport
WILTSHIRE snooker star Stephen Lee has applied to play in this year's World Championship despite being at the centre of a match-fixing allegations, it was reported today.
Lee, 38, has been out of action since October as an inquiry into betting patterns around a Premier League game against John Higgins takes place.
The cueman, who uses Swindon’s 147 Club as a practice base, also faces a formal independent hearing arranged by Sport Resolutions UK over separate allegations but could appear at the lobal event at Sheffield's Crucible, which starts on April 20, if he is cleared before the draw is made.
Lee was one of the world's form players last season, returning to the top eight in the world and winning the PTC Grand Finals in Galway, his first ranking title in six years.
A date for his hearing has yet to be announced, but Lee would need to be clear of all charges before the draw on April 1. He faces a long ban from the sport if found guilty of breaching rules in any of the eight matches under investigation.
Jason Ferguson, chairman of snooker's governing body, the World professional Billards & Snooker Association (WPBSA), told BBC Sport: "We are subject to the legal process. We hope things can move very quickly."