Alexander Palace is not associated with the stiff-upper-lipped, Victorian ideals of gentlemen behaviour that defines the likes of Wimbledon and the Crucible, but nonetheless, there is somewhat of a code of behaviour governing The Darts.
Last night, Justin Pipe faced accusations of contravening these oche ethics, when facing a surprise second-round exit against unseeded Bernie Smith.
Pipe raced into a two-set lead, only to surrender it, meaning the match went all the way to a deciding set. Smith took the early advantage, and found himself leading 2-1, and with 56 left to clear to win the match. He then hit 16, meaning he had two darts to hit the double 20 that would earn him a last-32 clash with Phil Taylor.
As he stood to take the shot, however, Pipe could be seen coughing in the background, with many onlookers wondering if he had done so on purpose to distract Smith.
Here's the clip:
If he intended it so, it worked: Smith missed, Pipe forced the match to a tie-break and eventually won out.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Wayne Mardle branded it "despicable behaviour".
It looks absolutely despicable behaviour by a professional darts player. How desperate are you?
What he didn't do is what every other darts player would have done. 'I've got a cough, I've got a cough, I turn away'. Except for Justin Pipe.
That was a tactic for advantage, that was a tactic to make Bernie Smith miss and he got his way. Whether or not he heard it is irrelevant, the intent was there.
If Phil Taylor did that, it would have been reported on the front page and back page on every newspaper. That was disgusting.