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    Higgins cleared of match-fixing


    by ODN


    John Higgins has been banned for six months and fined £75,000 but cleared of accepting a bribe to fix snooker matches.

    At a disciplinary hearing of world snooker's governing body the Scot's claim that he felt intimidated during a meeting in Kiev with an undercover journalist from the News of the World offering money for him to throw a match was accepted.

    The two most serious charges levelled at Higgins were dropped although he admitted "intentionally giving the impression to others that they were agreeing to act in breach of the betting rules" and failing to report the matter to World Snooker.

    Higgins, who strenuously denied match-fixing throughout the episode that overshadowed the world championships, was provisionally banned by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn in May pending the hearing.

    The 35-year-old's six-month ban has been back-dated meaning he can continue his career in November.

    Higgins' manager Pat Mooney has been banned from further involvement in snooker for life.