Ten Chinese snooker players face match-fixing charges, including Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong – Sky Sports

Snooker News
Last Updated: 19/01/23 7:59am
Ten Chinese snooker players, including former Masters champion Yan Bingtao, will face charges related to match-fixing.
Yan as well as countrymen Zhao Xintong, Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning, Chang Bingyu, Chen Zifan, Zhang Jiankang and Liang Wenbo have been provisionally suspended by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).
Yan and Zhao Xintong, the latter who won the UK Championship in 2021, were barred from competing at last week’s Masters event at Alexandra Palace, with their spots going to Dave Gilbert and Hossein Vafaei.
An independent disciplinary tribunal will now be convened to consider the evidence.
Yan has been charged with fixing matches and betting on snooker, while Zhao Xintong has been charged with being concerned in fixing and betting on snooker.
Charges of ‘being concerned in fixing’ relate to matches a player did not play in.
A statement read: “The (10) players are currently suspended from attending and competing on the World Snooker Tour and in other WPBSA governed events until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter.
“This matter will be referred to a formal hearing before an Independent Disciplinary Tribunal that will take place at a venue and on a date to be confirmed.”
Speaking to ITV4, WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson described the events as “heartbreaking” for snooker.
Ferguson said: “We have to have a pure sport which people watch, buy tickets for, we sell our rights around the world; it has to be pure, live competitive sport. That is why we are doing this.
“It is a heartbreaking situation for those of us who have been in this sport for a long time and have worked to make it the great sport it is. We are taking this very seriously, we’ve come out with everything we possibly can.
“We’ve been transparent all the way in this process and we will again be transparent at the end of this to give the public and the audience watching the confidence that this sport is still great.
“Our rules are very clear it does say that for manipulation of the betting rules, up to a lifetime ban can be received by a player from this tribunal.
“It’s impossible for me to give an outcome, it is up to that independent sports tribunal to make that decision. We, on both sides, will have to abide by that decision.”
Speaking to the BBC last week, six-time world champion Steve Davis said: “If the allegations are proven to be true, it shows a breath-taking level of stupidity by these players.
“What effect it has on the game, it’s hard to evaluate at the moment. It’s embarrassing. I think all the players are aware of the situation and fortunately the WPBSA is on top of it.”
The WPBSA statement said the players face the following charges…
Liang Wenbo has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches and approaching players to fix matches on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and failing to cooperate with the WPBSA investigation
Li Hang has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches and approaching players to fix matches on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and betting on snooker matches
Lu Ning has been charged with fixing a match and being concerned in fixing matches and approaching a player to fix a match on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and betting on snooker matches
Yan Bingtao has been charged with fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour and betting on snooker
Zhao Xintong has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour and betting on snooker
Zhang Jiankang has been charged with fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour, failing to report approaches for him to fix matches and betting on snooker matches.
Chen Zifan has been charged with fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour
Chang Bingyu and Zhao Jianbo have each been charged with fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour
Bai Langning has been charged with being concerned in fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour
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