Watch: 'Coughgate' - Nobody Can Believe What Justin Pipe Did On The Oche
Controversy has embroiled the World Darts Championship.
And it involves Justin Pipe coughing on the oche.
Pipe was tasked with taking on Kiwi Bernie Smith, and he raced into a two-set lead. But his counterpart fought back, and leveled the tie.
Smith was leading the deciding set 2-1, needing 56 to checkout to secure a spot in the next round.
He nailed 16, leaving two darts at double-tops. But while he was taking aim, Pipe was coughing behind him, appearing to try and put him off his throw. Whether he meant it maliciously, only he knows.
WATCH: What did you make to 'coughgate?' :mask: Safe to say @Wayne501Mardle- Sky Sports Darts (@SkySportsDarts) December 21, 2017
was not impressed!
Watch live on Sky Sports Darts or follow it live here: https://t.co/9gIO1ZjBsK #LoveTheDarts pic.twitter.com/jYKOi0HpYY
Smith missed. Pipe eventually checked out and won.
Following the hotly-contested game, former darting hero Wayne Mardle slammed Pipe's actions.
"It looks absolutely despicable behaviour by a professional darts player. How desperate are you?" He said on Sky Sports via Balls.
More Like ThisMore Like This
Mardle added: "What he didn't do is what every other darts player would have done. 'I've got a cough, I've got a cough, I turn away'. Except for Justin Pipe.
"That was a tactic for advantage, that was a tactic to make Bernie Smith miss and he got his way. Whether or not he heard it is irrelevant, the intent was there.
"If Phil Taylor did that, it would have been reported on the front page and back page on every newspaper. That was disgusting.
Pipe in action. Image: PA
Pipe has since responded to the allegations, releasing the following statement.
"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.
"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.
"My focus is on preparing for my second round game against Phil Taylor on Saturday. It's an honour to playing him in his final tournament and I want to concentrate on that match.
Pipe is paired with Phil 'The Power' Taylor in the next round.