Ten Chinese snooker players charged in fixing probe

LONDON (AFP): Top 20-ranked Zhao Xintong and Yan Bingtao were among 10 Chinese players charged with match-fixing by snooker s global governing body on Wednesday.

All 10 players, who are currently suspended from the World Snooker Tour, have been deemed to have cases to answer by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) following the sport s biggest corruption investigation.

An independent disciplinary tribunal will now be convened to consider the evidence.

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

The other players charged are Liang Wenbo, Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning, Chang Bingyu, Chen Zifan and Zhang Jiankang.

“Following a detailed investigation by the WPBSA integrity unit, working closely with Sportradar, the WPBSA has decided that 10 snooker players have a case to answer,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The players are currently suspended from attending and competing on the World Snooker Tour and in other WPBSA governed events until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter.”

Should they be found guilty, lengthy bans from the sport are expected for some of snooker s leading lights.

Zhao, who beat Luca Brecel to win the 2021 UK Championship title, is ranked ninth in the world.

Yan is ranked 16th having won the Masters — another of snooker s  triple crown  events — in 2021.