Scrabble star banned af­ter cheating row

Daily Mail - - News -

A FOR­MER na­tional Scrabble cham­pion has been banned from com­pet­i­tive games for fail­ing to fol­low the rules.

Al­lan Sim­mons, ex-chair­man of the World As­so­ci­a­tion, was banned for three years af­ter he was found guilty of ‘ac­tions that led to a sus­pi­cion of cheating’.

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tish Scrabble Play­ers (ABSP) made the de­ci­sion fol­low­ing a com­plaint by Lewis Mackay, 32, that he had breached rules dur­ing their match at the Bri­tish Masters in June.

When pick­ing tiles, play­ers must show their palms to prove they are not drop­ping un­wanted tiles back in.

But the ABSP found Mr Sim­mons, 60, had been tak­ing tiles, look­ing at them, then putting his hand back in the bag to draw new tiles.

The ABSP con­cluded he had ‘cheated’ as the as­sump­tion was that he was putting un­wanted tiles back in the bag.

Elie Dan­goor, of the ABSP, said: ‘There were three in­de­pen­dent wit­nesses on four oc­ca­sions who saw him do it.’

Mr Sim­mons, of Cold­ing­ham in the Scot­tish Bor­ders, de­nied cheating. Dur­ing games ‘there’s a lot go­ing through one’s mind let alone re­mem­ber­ing to re­li­giously en­sure tile draw­ing rules are fol­lowed metic­u­lously’, he told The Times.

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