Kyle McKinstry: NI darts player given eight-year ban for match-fixing and failing to produce phone bill

Kyle McKinstry
Kyle McKinstry is a former BDO World Championship quarter-finalist

Northern Ireland's Kyle McKinstry has been given an eight-year ban by the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) for match-fixing and failing to produce his itemised phone billing as required.

The former BDO World Championship quarter-finalist received a six-and-a-half-year ban for fixing two matches.

A further 18-month ban was in respect of a failure to provide the phone bill.

The matches were part of the 'A Night at the Darts' series, regulated by the DRA, in late April and early May.

McKinstry, from Tandragee, was initially suspended by the DRA in August after it was alerted by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) to "suspicious betting" in games in which he had played.

In the two matches in question, McKinstry lost 5-0 to England's David Evans on 30 April, and 5-1 to the Netherlands' Wessel Nijman on 2 May.

Nijman was banned for five years in October for breaching betting and anti-corruption rules; there is no suggestion that Evans was involved in any rule breaches.

At a DRA disciplinary committee hearing on 17 October, McKinstry admitted fixing his match with Evans. He denied fixing an aspect of his match with Nijman and failing to cooperate with the DRA by not producing his itemised phone billing as required.

The committee, however, found all three charges proven.

McKinstry's ban, backdated to his initial suspension date of 18 August, will run until 17 August 2028.

The 34-year-old, posting on his Facebook account on Wednesday, said: "I made a bad error of judgement at a bad time in my life.

"This is something I will regret for the rest of my life and I hope this is a catalyst for anyone else in a bad position.

"I am going to work hard and keep my head down and hopefully put this behind me and come back bigger and stronger."

The events in question, played online, were unconnected with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

McKinstry, ranked 116 in the PDC Order of Merit, played on the PDC's Challenge Tour early in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic severely affected the calendar.

Nigel Mawer the DRA chairman, said: "This shows that any player found guilty of match fixing at any level of the sport will be caught and will face a lengthy ban.

"The specific suspension for failing to produce itemised phone billing is welcomed, as the requirement for co-operation from players is an important part of any DRA investigation."

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