The opponent who knocked Kiwi Bernie Smith out of the darts world championships yesterday has been accused of cheating.
Englishman Justin Pipe defeated the Christchurch plasterer 3-2 in yesterday's first round match-up. Smith come within millimetres of reaching the second round but missed an attempt for double 10.
However Pipe was seen coughing in the background during Smith's attempt, which has led to accusations of cheating by Sky Sports commentator Wayne Mardle.
After the match Mardle said: "It looks absolutely despicable behaviour by a professional darts player". It then continued his thoughts on social media.
Pipe told the Express.co.uk that he strongly denied any suggestions he was trying to put off the Kiwi.
"I'm bitterly disappointed with the comments which were made on Sky Sports and it's not nice for me and my family to hear," Pipe said.
"I would never do something to put another player off and Bernie didn't say anything to me on the night.
"As far as I'm aware there is no issue from his side and this has been blown out of proportion."
Pipe, ranked 27th, fought back to win the crucial leg and ultimately take out the match 3-0 3-1 1-3 2-3 4-2.
He booked a second-round clash against compatriot and 16-time world champion Phil Taylor.
That honour was denied 53-year-old Smith, who followed compatriot Cody Harris this week in bowing out in the first round at Alexandra Palace.
Smith, who won the Oceanic Masters in New South Wales in October, had few problems advancing through a qualifying match earlier on Thursday morning (NZT).
He outclassed 19-year-old Chinese opponent Xiao Chen Zong 2-0 to book the final spot in the 64-man main draw.
- With AAP