Former Masters champion Yan Bingtao among six players charged with match-fixing

Former Masters champion Yan Bingtao is among six Chinese players charged with match-fixing by snooker’s governing body.

All 10 players 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 ever corruption investigation.

The other players charged with fixing a match or matches are Lu Ning, Zhang Jiankang, Chen Zifan, Chang Bingyu and Zhao Jianbo.

Yan pocketed £250,000 when he became the youngest Masters champion in 26 years by recovering from 7-5 down to beat John Higgins 10-8 in the final in January 2021.

Zhao Xintong, whose UK Championship victory in December that year meant Chinese players held two of the sport’s three “triple crown” titles, has been charged with being concerned with fixing matches and betting on snooker.

Liang Wenbo, who was the first player to be suspended as part of the investigation in October, is charged with being concerned in fixing matches and approaching players to fix matches, as well as seeking to obstruct and failing to cooperate with the investigation.

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

Yan Bingtao
Former Masters champion Yan Bingtao has been charged with fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

The full list of charges appeared in a WPBSA statement which read: “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 in respect of the following alleged breaches of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations.

Liang Wenbo has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches and approaching players to fix matches on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and failing to cooperate with the WPBSA investigation.

Li Hang has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches and approaching players to fix matches on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and betting on snooker matches.

Lu Ning has been charged with fixing a match and being concerned in fixing matches and approaching a player to fix a match on the World Snooker Tour, seeking to obstruct the investigation and betting on snooker matches.

Yan Bingtao has been charged with fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour and betting on snooker.

Zhao Xintong has been charged with being concerned in fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour and betting on snooker.

Zhang Jiankang has been charged with fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour, failing to report approaches for him to fix matches and betting on snooker matches.

Chen Zifan has been charged with fixing matches on the World Snooker Tour.

Chang Bingyu and Zhao Jianbo have each been charged with fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour.

Bai Langning has been charged with being concerned in fixing a match on the World Snooker Tour.”