Ronnie O’Sullivan keen to move past World Snooker bullying accusations

Ronnie O’Sullivan has attempted to shift focus from the controversy surrounding him at the World Championship. The five-times Crucible champion grabbed the spotlight on Sunday when he followed victory over Gary Wilson by accusing World Snooker’s chairman, Barry Hearn, and his board of bullying and intimidation on disciplinary issues.

O’Sullivan had said: “I phoned Barry up four weeks ago and I said, ‘Look Barry, I’m done with all you and your board of people.’ And I’ve got a very good friend of mine who said, ‘Just let my lawyers deal with it.’ I won’t get involved with it because I’m not being bullied, I’m not having people doing that to me ever again. I like Barry but I’m not being intimidated or bullied any more.”

Hearn denied the claims but 41-year-old O’Sullivan’s comments have been the talk of the tournament ever since.

In a statement released on Tuesday evening O’Sullivan said: “There has been some speculation and commentary around the answers I gave when questioned by the media at my press conference on Sunday.

“Any outstanding issues with the snooker authorities will be addressed by my legal team following the conclusion of this great event, when I hope a sensible resolution can be reached.

“I will not be making any further comment about this during the World Championships. I request the press and media respect this position in all further interviews. I wish to focus all my energies on performing to the very best of my ability for the fans in my quest for a sixth world title.”

O’Sullivan, currently the world No12, next faces the 2005 champion and two-time runner-up, Shaun Murphy, in the second round on Friday.

The author: Michel DEURINCK

Michel Deurinck, born in Brussels in 1950, started his career in the Belgian civil service, dedicating over 30 years to public service. Upon retirement, he pursued his passion for journalism. Transitioning into this new field, he quickly gained recognition for his insightful reporting on politics and culture. Deurinck's balanced and thoughtful approach to journalism has made him a respected figure in Belgian media.

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