Two-time world champion Adrian Lewis has been suspended by the Professional Darts Corporation with immediate effect following an angry altercation with Jose Antonio Perales in the first UK Open qualifier on Friday evening.
Lewis was embroiled in a war of words with the Spaniard throughout their quarter-final clash in Wigan and confronted his opponent midway through the match for what he perceived to be deliberate gamesmanship.
Lewis recovered from 3-1 and 4-3 down to prevail in a last-leg decider, but after landing the winning double, ‘Jackpot’ had to be led away by security after appearing to push Perales in the neck.
The Stoke star went on to lose 6-3 to an imperious Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals, but the incident was instantly referred to the Darts Regulation Authority, where Lewis was subsequently suspended, pending a full investigation.
The DRA released the following statement which read: “Following a review of the incidents which occurred in his match with Jose Justicia at Friday’s UK Open qualifier, the Darts Regulation Authority has suspended Adrian Lewis with immediate effect pending a full investigation in to the matter. The player has the right of appeal.”
Lewis has been handed an immediate ban which prevents him from competing in Saturday or Sunday’s qualifiers and he could potentially miss out on the UK Open itself, which takes place in Minehead next month. However, the length of his suspension is yet to be confirmed and the 33-year-old is yet to comment on the incident.
It’s been a difficult period for the two-time world champion. His miserable 2017 culminated in a shock first-round exit at the World Championship, which also saw him miss out on the Premier League for the first time since 2009. This will only compound frustrations for the world number 20.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC