Ronnie O'Sullivan has been slammed by a fellow snooker pro after he was caught making an obscene gesture on live TV.
The Rocket eased into the last 16 of the World Snooker Championship with victory over David Gilbert. He beat his opponent 10-5, but the tie was not without its difficult moments as he had to come from 3-0 down to keep his push for the world title alive.
However, O'Sullivan may have landed himself in hot water with snooker chiefs after his reaction to another sticky situation later in the match. Things were going well for him as he closed in on victory, but was left clearly fuming with himself for missing a simple black into the corner pocket in the 13th frame.
The TV cameras saw him straighten up quickly after rattling the ball in the jaws of the pocket, and lingered on him long enough to catch the lewd gesture. The man from Essex appeared to mime masturbation as he walked around the table.
Fellow snooker star Matt Selt was watching the action from home and spotted the gesture. He posted a clip of it on his Instagram story and, clearly unimpressed, wrote the sarcastic caption: "What an ambassador."
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O'Sullivan might face sanctions for the gesture, as he has been slapped with a punishment for similar actions in the past. He was fined £2,750 and had 700 ranking points removed from his name in 2008 after making a similar gesture and other comments in a press conference.
And in 2013 he received a telling off from referee Michaela Tabb for another rude sign made with his hand during a semi-final match against Judd Trump at the Crucible. If he were to lose ranking points over his latest faux pas then his status as world number one might be in jeopardy.
After securing victory over Gilbert, O'Sullivan will face either Mark Allen or Scott Donaldson in the next round. Commenting on his performance, he said: "I am out there playing, enjoying it and just trying to compete. It is like Gladiator, Russell Crowe has a hole in his arm and knows he is going to die but you just have to find a way. That is what winners and gladiators do.
"I probably wasn't born to play snooker but I was born to do something with a ball. I just wish it would have been another sport where my temperament would have been suited to it. I find snooker challenging. To be the best at something it takes graft, time and effort, sometimes you ask yourself 'why am I doing this?'
"I was never born a winner, but I had to have it drummed into me. A bit like Serena Williams and Tiger Woods, I had that type of father figure where I was told 'you are going to be a success'. I wasn't that bothered but I was toughened up mentally, I was mentored that way."