Snooker’s corruption investigations have widened after one of the sport’s rising stars became the seventh Chinese player to be suspended over match-fixing allegations.
Yan Bingtao was suspended from competition just hours before he was due to face Ashley Hugill in Monday’s English Open.
Yan will now miss defending his title at the prestigious Masters tournament in January after last year becoming the event’s youngest champion in almost three decades.
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The 22-year-old is the most notorious name involved in a betting scandal that the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) began investigating in October.
“It’s a really bad day for snooker,” two-time Major winner Jimmy White told Eurosport.
“We obviously have to wait for the request (but) that has to be out of the game, it has to be gone. You can’t do any shady business in any sport, it needs ironing and I’m sure it will.”
Liang Wenbo was the first player to be suspended while Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Janbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu were all sidelined on Friday.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson confirmed that the governing body took action against Yan after “new evidence” surfaced during the long-term investigation.
“Obviously things aren’t looking good this morning,” WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson told the BBC.
“But actually we shouldn’t put that in the way of this great sport that goes around the world. We’re making really big progress and 99.999 percent of the sport is played in the best of spirits.
“Unfortunately, this morning’s strong decision to suspend Yan Bingtao was the result of new evidence coming to light in an ongoing investigation that began in October with Liang Wenbo’s suspension.”
Ferguson said the WPBSA will have “no concerns” about the English Open being played while the governing body continues to investigate the allegations.
“It has to be played 100 per cent in the spirit it should be played in and we will ensure that – hence the reason for these suspensions,” he said.
Robertson said he was “quite shocked” when rumors of Yan’s withdrawal became reality on the first day of the tournament.
“I mean his name was on the board to play the earlier session and then it was removed,” he told the BBC.
“World Snooker would not have acted – they would have done all their due diligence to look at certain cases and they felt it was the right decision to take him out of the game and, I think, bring him in for questioning.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what the result of that is. I’m a big believer in innocent until proven guilty, but they think there’s something to it.
“World Snooker has an incredible unit for this type of thing and they will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure they get the right result.”
https://7news.com.au/sport/snooker-champion-yan-bingtao-suspended-after-new-evidence-emerges-in-match-fixing-investigation-c-9144091 Snooker champion Yan Bingtao suspended after ‘new evidence’ surfaced in match-fixing investigation