BRISTOL: Former Masters champion Yan Bingtao has become the latest Chinese player to be suspended from the World Snooker Tour amid an ongoing investigation into match-fixing, the sport’s governing body announced Monday.
The Chinese world number 16, has been banned from attending or competing at events with immediate effect as the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association continues to look into allegations matches were manipulated for gambling purposes.
Last week, five other Chinese players — Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu — were suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, with compatriot Liang Wenbo banned in October.
“WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend Yan Bingtao from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect,” said a statement issued Monday.
“This decision is part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of manipulating the outcome of matches for betting purposes in breach of the WPBSA conduct regulations.
“The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought. Yan Bingtao has the right to appeal this decision.”
Yan is the highest-profile player to be suspended during the ongoing probe.
The 22-year-old produced a stunning upset to win the Masters, one of snooker’s leading tournaments, on his debut in the competition in 2021 and also has one ranking title to his name after winning the 2019 Riga Masters.
Yan was due to play in the English Open this week, but first-round opponent Ashley Hugill has been awarded a walkover.
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