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Chinese Snooker Association vows to issue harsh punishment towards players over match-fixing

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-06-07 15:03
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BEIJING - In the wake of recent penalties issued by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) for match-fixing, the Chinese Snooker Association (CSA) has pledged to mete out severe punishments to the involved players.

"The association has been redoubling efforts to eliminate match-fixing activities and safeguard the integrity of the game, consistent with the association's zero-tolerance policy on match-fixing," the CSA conveyed in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the CSA, it has given significant consideration to the match-fixing activities involving Chinese players and will impose stringent penalties on the guilty parties, relying on the investigation conducted by the WPBSA.

The WPBSA confirmed on Tuesday that ten players were charged with match-fixing offences. It imposed lifetime bans on Liang Wenbo and Li Hang and meted out substantial suspensions for the other involved players.

Liang, 36, currently suspended from snooker events since last October, was found culpable of rigging or abetting in the rigging of five snooker matches, and trying to persuade or facilitate other players to manipulate nine matches. He also wagered on snooker matches and was non-compliant with the WPBSA's inquiry.

Li, 32, was likewise charged with match-fixing, as well as persuading or facilitating other players to tamper with match outcomes.

Furthermore, the 2021 Master champion Yan Bingtao received a five-year ban lasting until 11 December 2027. Zhao Xintong, a two-time ranking titleholder, was issued a suspension of one year and eight months, set to conclude on 1 September 2024.

The CSA assured that it would amplify cooperation with international associations and increase surveillance on players competing abroad to preempt match-fixing in the future.

The association also recommitted to its fight against match-fixing in domestic competitions, vowing to use recent cases as a stern warning for all those concerned.

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