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Wessel Nijman and Kyle McKinstry suspended with match-fixing cases to answer – Sky Sports

Pair suspended from attending or competing in DRA-sanctioned events until the conclusion of any hearings but can appeal suspension

Last Updated: 19/08/20 11:14am

Kyle McKinstry is one of two darts players suspended following allegations of match-fixing during recent online darts tournament

Wessel Nijman has admitted to match-fixing after he and Kyle McKinstry were found to have cases to answer amid suspicious betting activity during the recent Modus Live League.

Both men were regulars in the Darts Regulation Authority-sanctioned events that featured players competing from their own homes during the suspension of competitive darts due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two matches were flagged by the International Betting Integrity Association, and a subsequent investigation by the Darts Regulation Authority found that there were two cases of match-fixing to answer for McKinstry in relation to breaches of DRA betting rules, and one for failing to cooperate with the DRA by producing his phone itemised billing. Nijman has one case of match-fixing to answer.

The pair have been suspended from attending or competing in DRA-sanctioned events until the conclusion of any hearings, but can appeal their suspensions.

One of the matches in question was between McKinstry and Nijman on May 2, while McKinstry’s match against David Evans on April 30 is also being investigated. There is no suggestion Evans was involved in any alleged match-fixing.

Nijman, a regular of the Challenge and Development Tours, has issued a statement through the Professional Darts Players Association (PDPA) after admitting to match-fixing, and will work with the organisation on an education process throughout the hearings.

“I would like to place on public record my sincere regret and apology for the mistake I made in relation to betting and match-fixing,” Nijman said. “I was put under some pressure to lose a match and I agreed to do this. I have admitted the offence and take full responsibility for it and will accept my punishment.

“I should have spoken to my management, the PDPA, DRA or police when I was put in this position and would advise any other player who finds themselves in a similar position to do that.

“Instead, I went along with it and made a stupid mistake that I am rightly being punished for.

“It was a one-off error of judgement which I want to put behind me and do everything I can to put right. I have made private apologies to the people who I have let down, including my family who have backed me through my whole career, my management and sponsors, and I want to publicly apologise to them and everybody involved in darts, including fans.

“My actions are a personal mistake made by me and not a reflection on the sport of darts.

“I want to move on, rebuild my career and reputation and am committed to helping to educate others through my own unfortunate experience so that this kind of offence can be prevented.

“I will be making no further comment on this matter at this time.”

McKinstry has yet to speak publicly, but his management team issued a statement saying they take allegations of match-fixing seriously, and would accept any decision from the DRA.

“MDA Promotions are deeply disappointed with regard to Kyle McKinstry and match fixing allegations,” read the statement.

“This management prides itself on sporting integrity at all times and has done for its entire involvement in any sporting activity, darts or otherwise.

“Therefore such allegations for one of our players is to be taken very seriously and we will, of course, accept any decision by the Darts Regulation Authority.

“MDA Promotions will not be making any further comment on the matter until after the full investigation is completed by the Darts Regulation Authority.”