Snooker Stars Banned for Match-Fixing

Two Chinese snooker players have been banned from the games for life due to match-fixing. Liang Wenbo (l.) and Li Hang, suspended in January may appeal their sentences through June 20.

Snooker Stars Banned for Match-Fixing

Two noted Chinese snooker players have been banned from the games for life after being found guilty of match-fixing, reports Inside Asian Gaming.
Eight others were suspended for two-and-a-half years to eight years.

All 10 were suspended in January pending a full-scale investigation by the Disciplinary Commission of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).

The ringleaders, Liang Wenbo and Li Hang, were accused of fixing or being involved in fixing five snooker matches in September 2022, and also “solicited, induced, enticed, persuaded, encouraged or facilitated players to fix nine matches” between July and December of that year, per the charges. In addition, they were found guilty of betting on matches; threatening other players; and covering up their offenses while refusing to cooperate with the WPBSA inquiry.

Others implicated in the crimes were Lu Ning; Yan Bingtao and Chen Zifan; Zhang Jiankang; Bai Langning; Zhao Jianbo; Chang Bingyu; and Zhao Xintong.

“This has been a very complex case,” said WPBSA Chairman, Jason Ferguson, who said the seasoned pros were responsible for influencing the younger players. “This behavior has been recognized as wholly unacceptable by the imposition of two lifetime bans from participating in recognized snooker in any way.

“Those who try to corrupt sport are constantly trying to find new ways to avoid our monitoring processes and this outcome must be taken as a lesson to those who think they can avoid detection. If any player is involved in fixing a snooker match, they will be caught and will face severe penalties.”

Ferguson added commissioners “did not see from the present case ‘any evidence of a wider culture of wrongdoing in snooker.’ The WPBSA will continue its strong stance against those who try to manipulate sport and today’s outcome sends out a clear message that match fixing will not be tolerated in snooker.”

The 10 players have until June 20 to appeal the decisions.