Snooker investigates Chinese players over alleged match-fixing scandal

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Hong Kong

Snooker’s governing body said on Tuesday it has suspended two more Chinese players while it investigates an alleged match-fixing and betting scandal – bringing the number of players from the Asian country caught in the study to 10.

In a statement, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) said UK Championship winner Zhao Xintong, 25, and his partner Zhang Jiankang, 24, had been banned from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour. Instant universe.

“This decision is part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of manipulation of match results for betting purposes in breach of the WPBSA Rules of Conduct,” the statement said.

“The ban will remain in place until the investigation is concluded or any further charges may or may not be brought. Zhao and Zhang have the right to appeal this decision.”

World No. 9 Zhao is widely regarded as one of snooker’s brightest talents. He will now miss the Masters in London on Sunday, one of the sport’s biggest annual tournaments.

CNN has reached out to both players for comment.

Former world No.11 Liang Wenbo was the first Chinese player to be suspended in connection with the investigation in October. Seven other Chinese players, including 2021 Masters champion Yan Bingtao were suspended in December.

CNN has reached out to Liang and Yan for comment. Neither Liang nor Yan have commented publicly on the ongoing investigation.

The specific details of the charges related to the individual players who have been suspended are not yet known. It is also unclear where the original allegations came from.

“The WPBSA can confirm that the wider investigation is now at an advanced stage, and is expected to be completed shortly at which time any possible charges will be considered,” said WPBSA statement.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association said it “strongly opposes game manipulation, gambling and other activities that go against sports integrity and ethics, and will take further punishment based on the results of the investigation.” last published by the WPBSA. ”

Snooker, which is very similar to the US game of pool, is a two-person sport played on a large green table using cues.

The aim is to take turns hitting the white ball to pot one of 15 red balls each worth 1 point, before sinking one of 6 different colored balls – worth between 2 and 7 points – a – into the 6 pockets around the table.

The player with the most points wins an individual frame, with the overall winner reaching a certain number of frames.

The sport has traditionally been dominated by players from the UK and US, but in recent years there has been an influx of Chinese talent, with the sport becoming increasingly popular in the East Asian country. .

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