As the WAGatha Christie scandal headed to the courts, a new detective drama hit the sporting world – the case of the mystery fart at snooker’s Northern Ireland Open.

Matthew Stevens led Ronnie O’Sullivan 2-1 in their third-round match in the famous Northern Irish town of, erm, Milton Keynes (due to Covid-19 restrictions) when someone broke wind.

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“I don’t know who it was but I’ve got my suspicions,” announced Neal Foulds on Eurosport commentary duty.

O'Sullivan grins after mid-match fart

The camera panned first to O’Sullivan, who couldn’t suppress a grin, before it fixed on an unavoidably guilty looking referee.

“He couldn’t be any redder, could he,” added David Hendon alongside Foulds.

“If he was any redder, he would be one of the balls in the bunch.”

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'I dropped my guts' - O'Sullivan opens up about stomach problems

But there was a twist in the tale. Just as everyone was ready to convict the referee, O'Sullivan revealed in the Eurosport studio that it was actually him.

"I dropped my guts," admitted O'Sullivan after his 4-2 comeback win. "I've had bad stomach problems for the last three months, I've been having tests in the hospital.

"I said to the ref, 'was that you?' We had a laugh out there. But I'm taking full ownership of that one."

He added: "I have been bad since September. Honestly, it has been really bad. I have had tests done and will have more tests after this.

"It is why I could not do the lockdown, the bubble, because my stomach was so bad with the food."

O'Sullivan later won his second match on Moving Day, a 4-2 triumph over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, to reach the quarter-finals.

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