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MDA Promotions and Kyle McKinstry part company following match-fixing admission

Kyle McKinstry and Wessel Nijman suspended amid match-fixing allegations

Jamie Shaw in Icons of Darts Live League 18 Aug 2020
McKinstry has a ‘case to answer’ over two match-fixing offences (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Kyle McKinstry and Wessel Nijman have been suspended from DRA sanctioned events after suspicious betting activity on matches during the Modus Live League.

The pair both have a ‘case to answer’ in relation to DRA betting rule breaches and have been suspended from attending or competing in DRA sanctioned events until the conclusion of any hearings.

The Modus Live League was a series of live-streamed events sanctioned by the Darts Regulation Authority, which spanned from April to August, in which players competed remotely.

Two matches involving Northern Ireland’s McKinstry were flagged by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).

The first of which came against David Evans on April 30, which Evans won 5-0, while the second occurred on May 2 against Wessel Nijman.

Following a DRA investigation, Chairman Nigel Mawer decided that McKinstry has a case to answer for two cases of match fixing and failing to cooperate with the DRA enquiry by not producing his phone itemised billing.

There is no suggestion that McKinstry’s opponents in the matches in question were involved in any way in these alleged rule breaches.

McKinstry, 33, reached the Quarter-Finals of the 2019 BDO World Championship and has featured on the PDC Challenge Tour.

He finished seventh on the 2019 Challenge Tour Order of Merit, qualifying for the 2020 UK Open, in which he reached the Last 16.

A statement published by his management MDA Promotions read: “MDA Promotions are deeply disappointed with regard to Kyle McKinstry and match fixing allegations.

“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.”

Nijman, meanwhile, was flagged by the IBIA prior to his match against David Evans on May 14, which Evans went on to win 4-0.

The 20-year-old is a two-time PDC Development Tour winner and is also a finalist on the Challenge Tour.

The Dutchman has admitted to match-fixing and issued the following statement via the PDPA:

“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.

“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.”

The PDPA has provided Nijman with support, guidance, education and assistance and will continue to do so throughout the case and beyond.