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Zhao Xintong and Zhang Jiankang latest to be suspended from World Snooker Tour amid match-fixing investigation

Jamie Shaw in Snooker News

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Yan Bingtao becomes latest snooker professional suspended amid match-fixing allegations

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Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong among ten Chinese players charged in match-fixing investigation

Zhao looks on (Photo by PA/Alamy Stock)

Zhao Xintong and Zhang Jiankang have become the latest Chinese players to be suspended from the World Snooker Tour as part of an ongoing match-fixing investigation.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend both players from attending or competing on the tour with immediate effect, taking the total of Chinese players currently suspended to ten.

This decision is part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of ‘manipulating the outcome of matches for betting purposes.’

The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation and both players have the right to appeal against the decision.

The WPBSA have confirmed that the investigation is now at an advanced stage, and it is expected to be completed shortly at which point any potential charges will be considered.

Zhao, the 2021 UK Championship winner, was due to compete in The Masters against Mark Selby at Alexandra Palace on Sunday.

Should he be withdrawn from the event, Hossein Vafaei would be the next highest ranked player in line to compete.

The match-fixing scandal first surfaced in October when Liang Wenbo was banned 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 Bingtao, the 2021 Masters champion, became the seventh Chinese player to be sanctioned, with Chen Zifan becoming the eighth soon after.