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Zhao Xintong and Yan Bingtao to miss World Championship amid match-fixing investigation

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An Independent Disciplinary Hearing will commence on April 24 (Photo credit: Alamy Stock)

Zhao Xintong and Yan Bingtao will miss this year’s World Championship due to the ongoing match-fixing investigation.

The former Triple Crown winners are among 10 players charged with serious breaches of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations in what is snooker’s biggest corruption scandal.

The allegations include manipulating games, approaching other players to cheat, betting on snooker and fixing matches.

All 10 were subsequently suspended from attending and competing on the World Snooker Tour until the conclusion of an Independent Disciplinary Hearing.

The WPBSA has confirmed the hearing – chaired by Ian Mill KC – will begin on April 24, meaning they will be absent from the Crucible, where the World Championship commences nine days earlier.

Liang Wenbo was the first player to be banned last October pending the results of a misconduct investigation. Five more players – Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu – were then suspended in December.

Yan, the 2021 Masters champion, became the seventh Chinese player to be sanctioned, with Chen Zifan, Zhang Jiankang and 2021 UK Championship winner Zhao following soon after.

Any players found guilty of the charges could face a lengthy ban from the sport.

Who are the players and what are the charges?

Liang Wenbo (world number 60) – has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches and approaching players to fix matches on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and failing to cooperate with the WPBSA investigation.

Li Hang (world number 67) – has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches and approaching players to fix matches on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and betting on snooker matches.

Lu Ning (world number 49) – has been charged with fixing a match and being concerned in fixing matches and approaching a player to fix a match on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and betting on snooker matches.

Yan Bingtao (world number 19) – has been charged with fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour and betting on snooker.

Zhao Xintong (world number nine) – has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour and betting on snooker.

Zhang Jiankang (world number 87) – has been charged with fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour, failing to report approaches for him to fix matches and betting on snooker matches.

Chen Zifan (world number 97) – has been charged with fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour.

Chang Bingyu (world number 82) – has been charged with fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour.

Zhao Jianbo (amateur) – has each been charged with fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour.

Bai Langning (world number 129) – has been charged with being concerned in fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour.

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