New Zealander Bernie Smith was leading the first-round match and throwing for victory when England's Justin Pipe stepped toward him and coughed loudly. Smith missed, and Pipe came back to win the match 3-2.

One of those that believes Pipe coughed deliberately was Sky Sports commentator and former professional darts player Wayne Mardle. He called for an investigation by the Darts Regulatory Authority.

Pipe released a statement denying any wrongdoing:
I'm bitterly disappointed with the comments 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 all proportion.

My focus is on preparing for my game against Phil (Taylor). It is an honor to be playing him in his final tournament and I just want to concentrate on that match.

Who knows, maybe he just has a cold, it is that time of the year after all.