Zhao Xintong, the UK Championship 2021 winner (shown in the image), and Yan Bingtao, the same year’s Masters victor, are among those involved.
The Chinese governing authority has imposed more severe sanctions on five players implicated in the snooker match-fixing scandal.
Yan Bingtao, the 23-year-old former Masters champion, and Zhao Xintong, the 26-year-old former UK Championship winner, are among those facing increased penalties from the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association.
Despite initially being handed a five-year suspension, Bingtao’s ban has been extended to seven and a half years, barring him from returning to the World Snooker Tour.
Xintong, on the other hand, is on suspension until July 2025.
The ban for Lu Ning has been extended to eight years, whereas Bai Langning and Zhang Jiankang have received extensions of four years and four years plus five months respectively.
The regulatory body has also endorsed the lifetime suspensions imposed on Liang Wenbo and Li Hang by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).
Ten Chinese players, in total, were suspended this month due to their involvement in match-fixing activities.
The accusations leveled against these players involve match manipulation, instigating other players to cheat, betting on snooker games, and orchestrating match-fixing schemes.
These players had until the 20th of June to contest these decisions.
Jason Ferguson, the WPBSA chairman, described this as a “very intricate case” earlier this month.
In his statement, he expressed distress at seeing talented young players violating WPBSA conduct regulations due to pressures from two senior players. The association has unequivocally deemed this behaviour unacceptable, as demonstrated by the two lifetime bans issued.
Ferguson expressed satisfaction at the commission’s conclusion, based on the current case, that there is no evidence of widespread misconduct in snooker.
The WPBSA vows to maintain its strong stance against anyone attempting to manipulate the sport, and the recent rulings send a clear signal that match-fixing is intolerable in snooker.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Snooker match-fixing scandal
Who are the prominent players involved in the snooker match-fixing scandal?
The significant players involved are Yan Bingtao, a former Masters champion, and Zhao Xintong, an ex-UK Championship winner.
What are the increased bans imposed on Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong?
Yan Bingtao will be barred from the World Snooker Tour for seven and a half years, while Zhao Xintong is suspended until July 2025.
How many players in total were suspended for involvement in match-fixing?
In total, ten Chinese players were handed suspensions due to their participation in match-fixing activities.
What are the allegations against these players?
The players are accused of manipulating games, encouraging other players to cheat, betting on snooker games, and orchestrating match-fixing schemes.
What are the comments from the WPBSA chairman, Jason Ferguson, regarding this case?
Jason Ferguson described the case as “very complex” and expressed sadness at seeing young talented players breaching WPBSA conduct regulations due to pressures from two senior players. He affirmed the WPBSA’s strong stance against those who attempt to manipulate the sport and emphasised that match-fixing will not be tolerated in snooker.