Ronnie O'Sullivan: Snooker should not be an Olympic sport
Published 22/04/2015 | 08:50
Ronnie O'Sullivan has reiterated his belief that snooker is not suited to becoming an Olympic event.
The sport is making a surprising push for inclusion in the programme for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
New legislation implemented in December by the International Olympic Committee now allows a host city to bring in a new sport on a one-off basis.
And it emerged in January that the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association had joined forces with the World Confederation of Billiard Sports to submit a bid to make the Tokyo event.
Soon after, O'Sullivan was quoted by the Daily Star as saying he thought snooker should not be in the Olympics.
And on Tuesday, the five-time world champion told the BBC: ''A World Championship, UK Championship or Masters title would always come before Olympic gold.''
O'Sullivan, 39, added: ''Does it mean that much to a snooker player? We all want to be world champion.
''Any athlete who goes to the Olympics - that is their goal, that is what they train for for four years.
''From one Olympics to the next, that is all they are thinking about.
''I'm not sure a snooker player would have that mindset.''
Five-time world champion O'Sullivan could also be set for a fine after playing with no shoes on for some of his 2015 World Snooker Championship opener against qualifier Craig Steadman on Tuesday.
In terms of the scoreline, five-time champion O'Sullivan enjoyed a relatively comfortable time of it, emerging from the first session of the encounter - that had begun with him making a century break - with a 7-2 lead over Crucible debutant Steadman.
But the world number two, who suffered a broken ankle towards the end of last year, appeared in discomfort due to his footwear at one point and opted to remove his shoes, briefly playing on in his socks.
He subsequently borrowed a pair of shoes from tournament director Mike Ganley and put them on, but Press Association Sport understands the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association will look into the matter to consider whether it constitutes a breach of its rules about members' dress code, which could see O'Sullivan handed a fine.