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Justin Pipe hits back at Wayne Mardle over ‘coughgate’ incident

Jamie Shaw in Darts Interviews 24 Dec 2017
Pipe reacts to a frosty reception from the Ally Pally crowd (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Justin Pipe has hit back at an “out of order” Wayne Mardle following his comments on the coughing controversy which shrouded Pipe’s World Championship campaign. 
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Pipe found himself at the centre of an alleged cheating scandal after footage emerged of him appearing to cough while his First Round opponent- Bernie Smith – was throwing for a match double.
New Zealand’s Smith subsequently missed the double and went on to lose the match in a tie break seat, with Pipe setting up a Second Round glamour tie against Phil Taylor.
Pipe was eventually whitewashed 4-0 at the hands of the 16-time World Champion on Sunday and was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the Alexandra Palace crowd for the duration of the contest.
The Taunton thrower has vigorously denied the allegations and has responded angrily to comments made by Sky Sports analyst Mardle – who branded Pipe’s actions as “desperate” and “despicable”.
“It’s been very hard,” said Pipe, speaking to the PDC’s Dan Dawson. “I’ve kept my mouth shut.
“It’s very hard to look back at two and a half thousand people and say: ‘I’ve got proof that Bernie heard nothing and I didn’t cough.’
“I’ve been verbally attacked and abused, and my family’s come in for it as well.
“Mardle’s bang out of order for me.
“It’s totally wrong, you do not jump to the conclusion that somebody has heard something when they haven’t.
“Bernie Smith didn’t hear anything, I held that cough back, I did not hide my body movements.
“Wayne Mardle could not wait to jump onto that and he’s bang out of order.”
Mardle also called for DRA (Darts Regulatory Authority) to take disciplinary action, and PDC Chairman Barry Hearn confirmed on Twitter that the incident had been referred the sport’s governing body.

Pipe admits he can understand how the incident could have come across on television, but believes it has been blown out of proportion.
“It looks awful and I said that to my wife and my children,” he added.
“But there’s no noise. It actually hurt me a little bit to hold it back, just like you do when you’re driving down the road and you’ve got a sneeze.
“I’ve been playing darts on TV for ten years, I know where the cameras are, the stage is mic’d up, there’s people with mics on and nobody heard anything.
“I’m going to go on Twitter, which is pretty much a tool for hatred, and post the pictures of Bernie’s message to me that say: ‘I didn’t hear anything, bro.’
“The haters will hate. I don’t care about Wayne Mardle fans, they don’t bother me.
“My family and my genuine fans will know, the PDC and everyone involved knows that I did nothing and that’s all that matters to me.” 
Pipe received £18,500 for his run to the Second Round, but could be faced with a sizable fine if he is to be found guilty of bringing the sport into disrepute.