Zhao Xintong and Zhang Jiankang suspended from World Snooker Tour
- Number of suspended Chinese players reaches double figures
- World No 9 the highest-ranked player to be banned by WPBSA
Zhao Xintong, the 2021 UK Championship winner, and Zhang Jiankang have joined the list of Chinese players suspended from the World Snooker Tour during an investigation into alleged match-fixing.
Zhao, the world No 9, and Zhang, the world No 82, have been banned from attending or competing on the Tour with immediate effect. Zhao had been due to face Mark Selby in the opening round of the 2023 Masters, which begins on Sunday.
The former Masters champion Yan Bingtao and seven other Chinese players have already been suspended by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).
The WPBSA said: “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. No further comment will be made at this time, except in the event of any significant further developments.”
World No 56 Liang Wenbo was the first player to be suspended as part of the investigation in October, with Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning, Chang Bingyu and Chen Zifan suspended in December.