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

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Kyle McKinstry handed eight-year darts ban for match-fixing

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

Jamie Shaw in Icons of Darts Live League 28 Oct 2020
Dutchman Nijman will be suspended until at least 2023

Wessel Nijman has been suspended from darts for a period of five years after being found guilty of match fixing in the Modus Icons of Darts series.

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported suspicious betting on a match to be played between Wessel Nijman and David Evans in the Icons of Darts series on May 14, 2020.

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.

Evans went on to win the match in question 4-0, prompting an investigation by the DRA and various gambling bodies.

Following the investigation and hearing, the DRA has ruled that PDPA associate member Nijman has been suspended from the sport for a period of five years.

Two-and-a-half years of the ban will be suspended on the condition that Nijman continues to engage in player education and anti-corruption measures.

Nijman had admitted the charge and has fully cooperated with the DRA and PDPA, and his enthusiasm to engage in player education and anti-corruption measures has been reflected in the ruling.

The suspension is backdated to August 18, 2020 until midnight on 17 August 2025.

Provided the 20-year-old complies with the conditions of his initial suspension, he will be free to play again from February 18, 2023 onwards.

He was also ordered to pay £2,455 towards the costs of the hearing.

Nijman issued the following statement in response to the DRA Disciplinary Committee decision:

“I would like to start by reiterating my sincere regret and apology for the mistakes I have made. I fully accept the outcome of my hearing.

“While it is clear that I was put under external pressure, ultimately I agreed to do this and take full responsibility for my actions.

“I know that I should have immediately reported this contact to the DRA anti-corruption department or sought guidance from the PDPA, my management or the police.

“I hope any other player who finds themselves in a similar position will learn from my mistakes and follow the correct procedure to help protect their own integrity and the integrity of darts as a sport.

“Unfortunately, I did not do that and made a stupid mistake that I am rightly being punished for.

“I will miss playing competitive darts but will work hard to help the DRA and PDPA with education and anti-corruption initiatives after learning a lot from this experience.

“I want to take this opportunity to again place on record my deepest apologies to everyone affected by my actions. This includes my family, who have supported me throughout my life and career, my management and sponsors, the PDC, PDPA and everybody involved in darts, including fans.

“I now want to focus on finding a way to make amends and will do everything I can to ensure that my experience is used to deter others from making similar mistakes in the future.

“I have said everything I want to say on the matter and will not be making any further comments.”

Meanwhile, Kyle McKinstry has been found guilty of two separate instances of match-fixing in the same series, the first of which coming against David Evans on April 30, which Evans won 5-0, while the second occurred on May 2 against Nijman.

The Northern Irishman had failed to cooperate with the DRA enquiry by not producing his phone itemised billing and had his management contract terminated by MDA Promotions.

McKinstry remains suspended until the case is concluded, and the Disciplinary Committee will reconvene at a later date to decide on a sanction.