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Mark King handed immediate snooker suspension amid betting investigation

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Mark King in action (Photo credit: Tim Goode/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

Mark King has been suspended from the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect amid an investigation into irregular betting patterns.

The decision to suspend King from all competition comes after an initial investigation of irregular betting patterns reported to the WPBSA on his match against Joe Perry at the Welsh Open on February 13.

Perry comprehensively won their First Round match 4-0 at Venue Cymru in Llandudno with King failing to register a sizeable break.

King becomes the 11th player to be suspended by the WPBSA since October over match-fixing allegations, joining former Triple Crown event winners Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong, plus their Chinese compatriots Liang Wenbo, Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning, Chang Bingyu and Chen Zifan.

The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may not be brought.

King, 48, turned professional in 1991 and reached a career-high world ranking of 11 in 2003, with his only ranking title to date coming at the 2016 Northern Ireland Open.

The world number 57 has the right to appeal against the decision but looks set to miss the World Championship, which gets under way in April.

The Romford cueist had failed to progress beyond the First Round of any ranking tournament this season, including a number of defeats in qualifying matches.