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O’Sullivan under fire for ‘rape’comment

Former world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan came under fire this week for claiming that competing in Players Tour Championship events gives him the feeling he is being “raped”.

“I feel like I’m being raped when I’m playing in them,” O’Sullivan told the Press Association.

“They put these ranking events on and ranking points at these tournaments and it just feels like the winner’s prize is not great... most players are going there and losing money.

“But they’re putting ranking points on so it’s forcing the players to play in it, which is not great, but what do you do? You have to go.”

However, World Snooker, the sport’s professional ruling body, said there was no obligation to enter the PTC tournaments, which were introduced last season and added that prize money on the tour has almost doubled inside the last two years.

Earlier this month, 35-year-old O’Sullivan won the seventh in a series of the 12 PTC events.

Ranking points have been tagged to the events, and O’Sullivan won the most recent of them in Gloucester, picking up a prize of £10,000 in the process.

In a statement, World Snooker said: “We have a responsibility to provide events for all 99 players on the main tour and the PTC events offer playing opportunities for them.

“Players have the choice whether to enter each event.

“The top prize at each PTC may only be £10,000, but the top 24 at the end of the series go through to the Grand Final, when the top prize is £70,000.

“Two seasons ago there were only seven or eight events on the main tour calendar; now there are nearly 30 and total prize money has virtually doubled.”

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