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Darts superstar Michael van Gerwen has hit back at cheating accusations from Dutch compatriot Danny Noppert after his shock first-round exit at the World Grand Prix.

Former Lakeside finalist Noppert prevailed 2-0 at the double-in tournament in Leicester and later accused Van Gerwen of stamping on the stage while he was on a double during the first set.

The pair had a heated exchange backstage midway through the match, leaving Van Gerwen furious.

Noppert said: "I’m really happy with this win. But first I want to say we had some troubles after the first set and I say to him, 'you’re stamping on the floor when I’m on a double', we made some words after the first set.

"For my feeling it was [deliberate], a player like Michael doesn’t do that, but for my feeling it was.

"He was angry, I think, he was playing well second set but I was focused, I want to win the match, I don’t want to have it in my head or something.

"I didn’t want it this way, it’s bad, but it was my feeling. I want to speak with him, it’s not the way for me, I’m happy with the win, but not feeling really good."

Van Gerwen took to social media to refute the claims, insisting he has never used "tactics" on stage, and never will.

He tweeted: "Angry and disappointed that I didn’t win tonight. The fans were phenomenal in Leicester tonight.

"I have played this sport a long time and have never and will never use tactics on the oche. Thank you for all the support."

Sky Sports pundit Wayne Mardle offered a potential explanation for the incident, and said if Van Gerwen had attempted to use gamesmanship, it would be out of character.

"Only the players know what went on and only Michael knows if he was stamping," he said. "Maybe he did and if he did he’s gone to depths that he hasn’t done before, but I don’t know.

"Danny obviously felt there was something. We did see that Michael was just there [close behind him] and Danny took exception.

"I mentioned loose floorboards, it really does happen a lot on these stages. That’s not making excuses for Michael, that’s just experience of being up here a lot.

"There’s clearly no love lost and there’s something gone on."

  • Michael van Gerwen

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