All 10 players charged in snooker’s match-fixing scandal have been hit with significant suspensions, with Liang Wenbo and Li Hang banned from the sport for life.
Former Masters champion Yan Bingtao has been exiled for five years and former UK Championship winner Zhao Xintong has been banned for one year and eight months, until September 2024.
Zhao’s is the shortest of the 10 punishments, having been found in breach of being party to another player fixing two matches and that he bet on snooker matches.
Liang and Li were both found guilty of a string of charges, including that they fixed or were party to fixing matches; solicited, induced, enticed, persuaded, encouraged or facilitated players to fix matches; that they attempted to cover up their involvement in match fixing while aware of the enquiry.
The full finding of the Independent Disciplinary Commission can be found here.
The independent WPBSA Disciplinary Commission’s decision on punishments, announced on 6 June, are as follows:.
The case was heard between 24-26 April and on 3 May, with the Disciplinary Commission releasing its findings today (6 June). The players have until 20 June to appeal.
Jason Ferguson WPBSA Chairman said: ‘This has been a very complex case. It has been heart-breaking to see some young talented players fall foul of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations through pressure exerted by two senior players. This behaviour has been recognised as wholly unacceptable by the imposition of two lifetime bans from participating in recognised snooker in any way.
‘Those who try to corrupt sport are constantly trying to find new ways to avoid our monitoring processes and this outcome must be taken as a lesson to those who think they can avoid detection. If any player is involved in fixing a snooker match, they will be caught and will face severe penalties.
‘I am pleased that the Commission found that they did not see from the present case “any evidence of a wider culture of wrongdoing in snooker”. The WPBSA will continue its strong stance against those who try to manipulate sport and today’s outcome sends out a clear message that match fixing will not be tolerated in snooker.’
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