Zhao Xintong and Zhang Jiankang suspended amid snooker match-fixing investigation

January 3, 2023
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Six
Zhao Xintong is the highest-ranked player to be suspended amid the current investigation (Picture: Getty Images)

Zhao Xintong and Zhang Jiankang are the latest players to be suspended from World Snooker Tour events amid the sport’s ongoing investigation into match-fixing.

The two suspensions on Tuesday take the total to 10 as they follow Yan Bingtao, Chen Zifan, Liang Wenbo,  Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu.

A World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association statement read: ‘WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend Zhao Xintong and Zhang Jiankang from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

‘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. Both Zhao and Zhang have the right to appeal this decision.

‘The WPBSA can confirm that the wider investigation is now at an advanced stage, and it is anticipated will be completed shortly at which point any potential charges will be considered.

Welsh Open 2020 - Day 2
Zhang Jiankang was suspended from WST events on Tuesday (Picture: Getty Images)

‘No further comment will be made at this time, except in the event of any significant further developments.’

Zhao, who won the UK Championship in 2021 and is currently ranked number nine in the world, was due to play Mark Selby in the first round of the Masters on Sunday evening. A replacement is likely to be announced, but is yet to be confirmed.

Yan Bingtao has already been removed from the Masters draw due to his suspension, with Dave Gilbert taking his place in the first round clash with Mark Williams next week.

More to follow…

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