Ronnie pulls out of China event

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RONNIE O’Sullivan has pulled out of the upcoming International Championship to deal a major blow to the richest tournament China will have ever staged.

The reigning world champion, who this week questioned his own decision to return to the tour after a short hiatus, has cited medical reasons for his decision to withdraw from a tournament which begins in Chengdu tomorrow.

Jason Ferguson, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, said: “We have been made aware that Ronnie has been unwell. The usual process for players pulling out of tournaments will now be applied. This is a huge disappointment for all of the fans in China who were hoping to see him play. However there is still an outstanding line-up of the world’s best players.”