Wessel Nijman has been suspended from darts for a period of five years by the Darts Regulation Authority, after he was found guilty of match fixing in the Modus Icons of Darts series earlier this year.
The 20-year-old impressed in the early stages of the remotely contested competition, claiming the scalps of legendary trio Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and Martin Adams – who boast an astonishing 24 World Championship titles between them.
Nevertheless, The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported suspicious betting on a match to be played involving Nijman and David Evans on May 14th, a contest which Evans won 4-0 – prompting an investigation by the DRA as well as several gambling bodies.
Nijman admitted the charge and following the hearing, the DRA ruled that the young Dutchman will be suspended from the sport for a period of five years – with the suspension backdated to August 18 until 17 August 2025.
However, having cooperated with the PDPA and DRA throughout the investigation, two-and-a-half years of Nijman’s ban will be suspended if he continues to engage in player education and anti-corruption measures, meaning he could potentially return to PDC action in February 2023.
Nijman, who was also ordered to pay £2,455 towards the cost of the hearing, issued the following statement via the PDPA in response to the Disciplinary Committee’s decision.
“I would like to start by reiterating my sincere regret and apology for the mistakes I have made. I fully accept the outcome of my hearing. While it is clear that I was put under external pressure, ultimately I agreed to do this and take full responsibility for my actions.
“I know that I should have immediately reported this contact to the DRA anti-corruption department or sought guidance from the PDPA, my management or the police.
“I hope any other player who finds themselves in a similar position will learn from my mistakes and follow the correct procedure to help protect their own integrity and the integrity of darts as a sport.
“Unfortunately, I did not do that and made a stupid mistake that I am rightly being punished for. I will miss playing competitive darts but will work hard to help the DRA and PDPA with education and anti-corruption initiatives after learning a lot from this experience.
“I want to take this opportunity to again place on record my deepest apologies to everyone affected by my actions. This includes my family, who have supported me throughout my life and career, my management and sponsors, the PDC, PDPA and everybody involved in darts, including fans.
“I now want to focus on finding a way to make amends and will do everything I can to ensure that my experience is used to deter others from making similar mistakes in the future. I have said everything I want to say on the matter and will not be making any further comments.“
Meanwhile, Kyle McKinstry was also found guilty of two separate cases of match-fixing during the same Modus Icons of Darts series, the first of which was committed against Evans, with the second ironically coming against Nijman.
His sanction is yet to be confirmed however, after the Northern Irishman failed to engage with the DRA’s enquiry by refusing to provide phone records, and he remains suspended from competitive action until the case is concluded.