Two Chinese snooker players suspended over match-fixing allegations
Chinese snooker players Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng have been suspended over match-fixing allegations, snooker's world governing body WPBSA announced on Friday.
Former Welsh professional David John was also banned from all competitions because of alleged manipulating the outcome of matches he was involved in since 2016 and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA enquiry.
Chinese snooker players Yu Delu [File photo: Xinhua]
"Following a lengthy investigation into alleged breaches of the WPBSA Rules by Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng by the WPBSA Integrity Unit working with Sportradar Integrity Services, a decision has been taken today that both players have a case to answer," WPBSA said in a statement.
"In the case of Yu Delu, this relates to manipulating the outcome of five matches he was involved in since 2015, failing to report two approaches to fix a match, betting on snooker and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA enquiry.
"In the case of Cao Yupeng, this relates to manipulating the outcome of three matches in 2016 and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA enquiry."
The statement said that this suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter. All three players have the right to appeal the decision.
Jason Ferguson, the Chairman of the WPBSA, said: "The decision to suspend any player immediately is a difficult decision to take. However, the WPBSA has a duty of care to ensure that snooker's global integrity is securely preserved, therefore my decision today is to remove any question marks over the sport during the time it takes to bring these matters to formal proceedings."
Chinese snooker players Cao Yupeng [File photo: IC]
The matter will be referred to the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee where a formal hearing will take place at a venue and date to be confirmed, the statement said.
Snooker had long been plagued with match-fixing scandals. Stephen Lee, the former world number five, was banned for 12 years in 2013 after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing.
Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan believed Lee was just the tip of the iceberg in 2013.
"I've heard there's many more players who throw snooker matches ... I suppose Stephen Lee was just caught out," he said on Twitter soon after Lee was suspended.
O'Sullivan went on to claim in 2015 that he was offered money to throw a snooker match.
But he added that although other players did accept bribes in the past he believed the problem had been eradicated after Stephen Lee was banned.
"So I think it's been stamped out of snooker now and if anyone was to do it, they know what the consequences are."
But also in 2015, Irish amateur John Sutton was banned for six years two years later after WPBSA found him guilty of match-fixing and misusing inside information.
The WPBSA said Sutton's offences related to suspicious betting on his match against Scotland's Jamie Burnett in the qualifying stages of the International Championship.