World Darts Championship: Did Justin Pipe intentionally cough to distract Bernie Smith? | Other | Sport

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Smith, a qualifier, was on match darts and as he went to throw double 10, Pipe coughs in the background as he stands behind watching his opponent.

The New Zealander missed and Pipe went on to win 3-2 – with the prize being a second round clash with Phil Taylor tomorrow night at the Ally Pally.

Nothing was mentioned after the game but the incident appeared on social media yesterday.

Pipe strongly denies the suggestions he was trying to cheat though.

He said: “I’m bitterly disappointed with the comments which were made on Sky Sports and it’s not nice for me and my family to hear.

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“I would never do something to put another player off and Bernie didn’t say anything to me on the night. 

“As far as I’m aware there is no issue from his side and this has been blown out of proportion.

“My focus is on preparing for my second round game against Phil Taylor on Saturday. “It’s an honour to playing him in his final tournament and I want to concentrate on that match.”

Sky Sports commentator Wayne ‘Hawaii 501’ Mardle, a four-times world semi-finalist, said: “It looks absolutely despicable behaviour by a professional darts player.

“Every time I see it, it was a case of how desperate are you.

“That was a tactic for advantage, that was a tactic to make Bernie Smith miss and he got his way.

“Whether Bernie Smith heard it or not is absolutely irrelevant, the intent was there.”

When fellow Sky pundit John Part, a three-times world champion, was asked if he thought Smith had not heard it, he said: “He kind of paused, he might have. He was very diplomatic.”



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