James Wade, the fifth-ranked darts player in the world, has been suspended for the next four tournaments for breaking a certain rule. That much we know.
We just have no clue what he actually did.
The Darts Regulation Authority announced the suspension Tuesday, saying that he was in breach of "rule 4.1 of the DRA Rules." The Professional Darts Corporation website tells us what exactly that means and which tournaments he will miss:
No Player or Member shall act in a manner which may reasonably be considered to injure or discredit the DRA or bring the game of darts into disrepute.
He has been suspended from the next four tournaments.
These are as follows:
1. The Sydney Darts Masters
2. European Tour 6, Hildesheim, Germany
3 & 4. Players Championship 7 & 8, Barnsley
That's it. That's all the DRA is going to tell us. Not what Wade did. Not if it was something serious or an accumulation of several minor instances. Not if he was previously warned.
There is something very wrong about this. I understand that the DRA is well within its rights to withhold this information, but what exactly is the point?
As fellow professional darts player John Lowe pointed out, the DRA should handle this situation like everyone else:
Wade, who became the youngest player ever to win a major PDC title, has won PDC Player of the Year twice and was the first player to beat legend Phil "The Power" Taylor in a Premier League event, is undoubtedly one of the biggest stars and attractions on tour.
The Machine, as he is known, is extremely popular, and by refusing to tell the public what he is suspended for, the DRA is running the risk of agitating his large fanbase.
That, in turn, could be potentially harmful to the sport.
Simply put, the DRA has very little to gain by covering up the reason for Wade's suspension.
Sometimes it's good business to appease the public—and this is undoubtedly one of those times.