Pipe can be seen coughing on Smith’s throw for the match (credit:Sky Sports)
Wayne Mardle has branded Justin Pipe’s apparent attempt to distract Bernie Smith on a match double as “despicable behaviour” and has called for the DRA to take disciplinary action.
With their First Round tie poised at two sets apiece and Smith requiring double ten to prevail, Pipe can be seen coughing shortly before the New Zealander releases his dart.
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.
Speaking live on Sky Sports the following evening, Mardle has condemned what he believes to be a blatant form of cheating from the Taunton thrower.
“It’s absolutely despicable behaviour by a professional darts player,” fumed Mardle.
“Every time I see it I think, ‘How desperate are you?’
“Bernie Smith is there and Justin Pipe moves in to get closer.. then he lets out the cough then moves back again.
“I’ve been around darts for so long and this has been going on for years where people try and talk you out of the game.
“The likes of what Peter Manley used to do, that’s gone out of the game. What used to happen on a football pitch in the 1970s is not allowed on the pitch now and it’s exactly the same up there [in darts].”
Pipe did not appear to be struggling with a cough during the gruelling five-set contest on Wednesday evening in which he initially squandered a two-set advantage.
The 46-year-old is yet to offer his version of events, but Mardle has urged the sport’s disciplinary body – the Darts Regulatory Authority – to take action.
“He didn’t do what any other player what have done which was to turn away, he made no effort to do so,” added Mardle.
“That was a tactic for advantage and to make Bernie Smith miss.
“He got his way, whether Bernie Smith heard it or not is absolutely irrelevant.
“The intent is there and the DRA have to do something.
“If Phil Taylor did that, it would be reported on the back page of every newspaper, the front page and the middle spread. That was disgusting.”
Pipe now has the opportunity to become the last player ever to defeat Taylor in a World Championship when the pair collide on Saturday night.