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Kyle McKinstry and Wessel Nijman suspended amid match-fixing allegations

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Wessel Nijman handed five-year suspension from darts for match-fixing

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

Jamie Shaw in Icons of Darts Live League 26 Aug 2020
McKinstry receives the longest ban in the history of professional darts

MDA Promotions and Kyle McKinstry have parted company by mutual consent following the Northern Irishman’s admission to a match-fixing charge.

Two matches involving McKinstry were flagged by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) during the Modus Live League in April and May.

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

The first case related to McKinstry’s match 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, it was decided that McKinstry had a ‘case to answer’ for two separate instances 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.

The PDPA, the association which works in partnership with the DRA, released the following statement on Tuesday:

‘The PDPA are aware that Kyle McKinstry has admitted to a charge related to match-fixing in a Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) sanctioned event, unconnected with the Professional Darts Corporation.

‘The DRA are in the process of dealing with this case, which is considered to be serious. It was announced last week that McKinstry has been suspended from attending or competing in DRA sanctioned events until the conclusion of his DRA hearing.

‘McKinstry has admitted a charge of match fixing in a fixture against David Evans. There is no suggestion whatsoever of any wrongdoing by Evans.

‘The PDPA is assisting all parties concerned, including McKinstry and will continue to offer support in line with its duties as an organisation.

‘Our primary purpose is to serve and support all of our members and we hope that McKinstry’s mistakes and any punishment he may receive will also act as a reminder of the severity of such an offence.

‘Members are reminded to engage with our educational activities, including the e-learning module on betting integrity and our annual seminars.

‘We also recently released new social media guidance, which includes the advice to report any integrity issues to the relevant authority.

‘Any suspicious approaches should be reported to the DRA or players should contact the PDPA for assistance in such matters.

‘The PDPA will be making no further comment on this case at this time but would like to take this opportunity to remind all members to remain vigilant, educated and safe in this area.’

McKinstry’s management company, MDA Promotions, later confirmed they had parted company, releasing the following statement:

‘It is with sadness that MDA Promotions and Kyle McKinstry have parted company by mutual consent.

‘Following the disappointing match-fixing and betting revelations involving Kyle, we have been left with little option going forward.

‘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 actions are completely unacceptable. Kyle understands the position he has put MDA Promotions in.

‘We would like to place on record that up until last week, Kyle has been a model professional and we regret having to part company.

‘We would like to wish Kyle all the best in battling this huge setback and all the success for the future.’

The 33-year-old, who signed with MDA Promotions in 2017, 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.

The news follows Wessel Nijman’s admission to match-fixing last week in the same competition and subsequent written apology.

Both players have been suspended from attending or competing in DRA sanctioned events until the conclusion of any hearings.