It’s been a long process, but the ruling on whether or not Phil Heasley broke the rules in last summer’s White Marlin Open off Maryland has finally been made.
Heasley – who claimed the money after catching a 76.5-pound white marlin in the world’s largest billfish tournament – was found to have broken tournament rules after a Baltimore federal judge upheld the disqualification since he failed multiple polygraph tests.
It was also discovered that Heasley and his crew dropped fishing lines before the tournament’s start time, which is against the rules.
The bulk of the money will be granted to a New Jersey fisherman and the rest will be redistributed.
Despite the ruling, Heasley claims the polygraph results were wrong and he didn’t cheat.
“We maintain that Mr. Heasely and his crew abided by all of the tournament rules and regulations,” said his attorney.
“I’m just relieved these 11 months of hell are over,” said White Marlin Open president Jim Motsko.
“The odds all the polygraphs were done wrong was less than one percent,” he told the paper. “There was a whole lot riding on this—our integrity, the tournament’s integrity, and we upheld our end of the contract.”