Former snooker Masters champion suspended in match-fixing investigations

| By Robert Fletcher
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has suspended a number of players, including former Masters champion Yan Bingtao, as part of ongoing investigations into allegations of match-fixing for betting purposes.

Bingtao’s suspension from attending and competing on the World Snooker Tour will come into effect immediately and will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought.

China’s Bingtao, currently ranked 16th in the world, beat John Higgins in the 2021 Masters final at the age of 21. 

Bingtao has been given the right to appeal the suspension.

Other snooker suspensions

Meanwhile, the WPBSA also suspended Chinese players Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

This followed the suspension of Liang Wenbo in October and a subsequent investigation that remains ongoing into allegations of manipulating the outcome of matches for betting purposes, thus breaching the WPBSA Conduct Regulations.

As is the case with Bingtao, all six of the suspensions will be effective until the investigation completes or charges are, or are not, brought. The players have the right to appeal the decision.

In addition, the WPBSA last week suspended England’s Garry Coulson from attending or competing in sanctioned events.  

The WPBSA did not give a specific reason for the decision, but did confirm it was related to an ongoing investigation into allegations of misconduct. The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.

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