Ronnie O'Sullivan 'drained and stressed' as snooker star withdraws from event

Ronnie O'Sullivan snooker

Ronnie O'Sullivan has confirmed his withdrawal from this year's Champion of Champions snooker event

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 14/11/2023

- 11:11

The 47-year-old won't be competing this week

Ronnie O'Sullivan has revealed he's withdrawing from this week's Champion of Champions in order to 'look after' his mental health.

The snooker star has battled addiction to drink and drugs during his career, while also suffering from depression.

O'Sullivan had been due to compete at this year's event, with winners earning £150,000 from a £440,000 prize fund.

But the 47-year-old has now confirmed his withdrawal, saying on X: “Hi guys, just wanted to let you know I’m unfortunately withdrawing from the Champions (sic) of Champions event tomorrow.

“Mentally, I feel a bit drained and stressed and I want to look after my mental health and my body.

"I’m sorry to all the fans but I’ll be back.”

O'Sullivan had been scheduled to meet Xhang Anda in China on Saturday.

He lost to the same opponent in the semi-finals of the International Championship earlier this year.

O'Sullivan has also rejected the chance to retain his title in the Far East, having beaten Judd Trump in last year's Champion of Champions final.

The snooker legend could return for the UK Championship, which is due to take place in York.

That event commences on November 25.

Speaking earlier this year, O'Sullivan opened up on his battle with drink and drugs earlier in his career.

"There are massive gaps," he said.

"I lost six, seven years to drinking and taking cannabis.

"Then four years of dealing with stuff away from the table which I didn't deal with very well.

"I wasn't focusing on snooker. But I suppose everyone has those problems, but there's 10 years there where I didn't really do much.

"I didn't practise much, I didn't have the headspace to win."

He added: "I lost my personality and confidence and needed to take substances just to feel like I could socialise.

"Then you get clean, and you become awkward in social situations and you think 'how do I deal with these situations?'

"You get a bit anxious and it started to affect me in certain ways. How do I live clean?

"It was weird - I had to learn to do all that stuff again.

"It took time but once I got there, I realised you have to carve out a different life for yourself.

"Maybe I'm not suited for X, Y and Z.

"My happy place is going running in the morning and I go out with my running friends, and I'm cool with that.


Ronnie O'Sullivan snooker

Ronnie O'Sullivan has admitted his mental health is suffering as he withdraws from snooker event


"Put me in an environment where there's lots of people and I run for the corner."

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