Adrian Lewis Given Three-Month Suspended Ban After Heated Exchange
Former two-time World Champion darts player Adrian Lewis has been handed a suspended three-month ban following his altercation with Jose Justicia during the UK Open qualifiers last week.
Lewis, a former protégé of Phil Taylor, has also been fined £3,000.
Reacting negatively to the unsportsmanlike conduct he perceived in the Spaniard's behaviour, Lewis initially threw a warning glance and a few angered mutterings toward Justicia.
However, growing increasingly agitated, Lewis proceeded to make a grab for Justicia; being pulled away by attentive security guards.
Having been initially suspended with immediate effect by the PDC until the Darts Regulation Authority (DRC) investigated the incident, Lewis will now be free to return to action; a suspended sentence all the motivation he requires to behave appropriately.
Subsequent to the report from the DRC, Lewis has released a statement regarding his thoughts on the incident and his punishment:
I am now in a position to issue a statement as the due process has taken place and the Darts Regulation Authority have had their hearing. I deeply regret that my frustrations got the better of me as I felt that my opponent was trying to provoke me.
I realise now that I should have reported any problems to the tournament officials instead of confronting Jose Antonio Justicia Perales after the match. I would like to offer my sincere apologies to the PDC, the sponsors of the event Coral, my own sponsors who I think for their loyalty and support, my manager, dart fans and finally my family.
I would like to say a big thank you for all of the kind messages sent to me from all over the world, and now I just want to put this all behind me and concentrate on playing the game I love and trying to make my way back into the top.
Undoubtedly keen to move beyond the incident, it is intriguing that Justicia did not feature amongst those Lewis felt compelled to apologise to.
You can watch the incident here.