Champion Higgins pleads innocence in fix hearing

JOHN HIGGINS maintains he is “100 per cent” innocent of match-fixing charges as the battle goes on to clear his name.

The three-time world champion spent around nine hours defending himself at an independent two-day tribunal in central London yesterday.

The hearing, organized by Sport Resolutions, a London-based independent dispute resolution service, stemmed from a News of the World investigation in May which accused Higgins and his manager Pat Mooney of agreeing to throw frames for money.

It claims Higgins agreed to fix the outcome of four future frames for €300,000 (£259,000) during a meeting with undercover reporters in Kiev.

Higgins swiftly denied the claims, insisting in a statement: “Can I say that 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.”

His agent Jim Cassidy added: “John Higgins is 100 per cent innocent of any aspect of match-fixing.”

Higgins, who has been suspended by World Snooker, is expected to discover his fate later today.