Sheffield-based snooker star suspended from world tour amid investigation into match-fixing

Sheffield-based former Masters champion Yan Bingtao has been suspended from the World Snooker Tour amid an ongoing investigation into match-fixing, the sport's governing body announced in a statement earlier today.
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The world number 16, whose remarkable Masters victory was masterminded from Victoria's Snooker Academy on Scotland Street in Sheffield, has been banned from competing at events – and even attending them – with immediate effect as the WPBSA continues their probe into allegations that matches were manipulated for betting purposes.

Five other Chinese players - Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu - were suspended last week pending the result of the investigation while fellow countryman Liang Wenbo was banned in October. Lu Ning, Zhao Jianbo and Chang Bingyu have all previously been based in Sheffield, as has Wenbo - who has previously served a four-month snooker suspension after admitting a domestic-related assault charge following an incident on a Sheffield street last year.

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A statement read: "WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend Yan Bingtao from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect. 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.

Yan Bingtao of China plays a shot during the 2021 Betfred World Snooker Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield (photo by Zac Goodwin - Pool / Getty Images).Yan Bingtao of China plays a shot during the 2021 Betfred World Snooker Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield (photo by Zac Goodwin - Pool / Getty Images).
Yan Bingtao of China plays a shot during the 2021 Betfred World Snooker Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield (photo by Zac Goodwin - Pool / Getty Images).

"The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought. Yan Bingtao has the right to appeal this decision.”

Bingtao, who won the Masters last year, had been due to play in the English Open this week but first-round opponent Ashley Hugill - from Hillsborough – was awarded a walkover.