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English snooker player suspended over irregular betting patterns

| By Robert Fletcher
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has suspended England’s Mark King in relation to irregular betting patterns at a match last month.

The case relates to King’s match against Joe Perry at the Welsh Open on 13 February, with an initial investigation having flagged unusual betting activity.

The WPBSA did not go into further detail about these patterns, but it did confirm that the suspension would come into immediate effect and remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought.

King will not be able to attend or compete on the World Snooker Tour for the duration of the suspension, although he will have the right to appeal against the decision. 

Having turn professional in 1991, King is a regular on the snooker circuit and won his first ranking title in 2016 when he clinched the Northern Ireland Open.

The suspension comes after the WPBSA in January charged 10 players over alleged breaches of its regulations for match-fixing and betting. The WPBSA initially issued suspensions to a number of players as part of investigations into match-fixing and betting on snooker. 

WPBSA rules strictly prohibit all players from placing bets on snooker matches, while any approaches or reports of match-fixing or other corruption should be reported to the WPBSA at the first opportunity. 

Among the players charged were Masters champion Yan Bingtao, Zhao Xintong, Chen Zifan, Bai Langning, Chang Bingyu and Zhao Jianbo.

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