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Williams fined for Crucible comments
Mark Williams has been punished for his comments condemning the Crucible and saying the Betfred.com World Championship should be moved from Sheffield to China.
The two-time former world champion has been fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 towards the costs of a World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association hearing.
He lashed out on the eve of this year's tournament, in a Twitter outburst, describing the Sheffield venue as "a shxt hole".
The 37-year Welshman was ruled to have breached WPBSA guidelines, incurring his second Twitter-related fine of the season, after an earlier rebuke for using foul language.
Williams, world champion in 2000 and 2003, tweeted in April: "WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS just around the corner. shame its played in the crucible, shxt hole, hopefully it will be in china soon."
The world number four then responded to a follower who pointed out the history of the venue, which is contracted, via Sheffield City Council, to stage the tournament through to 2015. Williams wrote: "sheffield is a nice place, the crucible is a shxt hole. #hate it".
Knowing his comments could spark disciplinary procedures, he added wryly: "its only my opinion about the crucible WSA [World Snooker] so dont send me any letters or fines. #lotsoflovewillo.''
Minutes later, he wrote: "wow im in trouble for my last tweet about the crucible." He added: "world snooker been on the phone. not sure if its cause i nearly swore, or said i hate playing at the crucible, or want the world champs to go to china."
A WPBSA statement read: "On Tuesday 29th May 2012, the Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA formally considered the case of Mark Williams. This relates to derogatory comments he made on Twitter regarding the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on the 20th April 2012, the eve of the Betfred.com World Championship at the Crucible Theatre."
It said Williams was found guilty of two rule breaches, and added: "He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 towards the costs of the hearing. The WPBSA Disciplinary Committee consider that Mark's Twitter remarks were unacceptable and potentially highly damaging to snooker's long relationship with Sheffield and the Crucible Theatre."