Snooker-Two Chinese players handed life bans for match-fixing

Snooker - Dafabet Masters - Alexandra Palace - 13/1/16- Liang Wenbo during the first round/Action Images / Peter Cziborra/File Photo

(Reuters) - Chinese players Liang Wenbo and Li Hang have been handed lifetime bans for match-fixing by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), the governing body said on Tuesday.

The pair have been found to have fixed snooker matches, persuaded or encouraged other players to fix matches and bet on matches, among other rule breaches. They have until June 20 to appeal against the decisions.

Eight other Chinese players have been suspended, including former UK Championship winner Zhao Xintong who was banned for one year and eight months, and Yan Bingtao, the 2021 Masters champion, who was banned for five years.

"It has been heart-breaking to see some young talented players fall foul of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations through pressure exerted by two senior players," WPBSA chair Jason Ferguson said.

"This behaviour has been recognised as wholly unacceptable by the imposition of two lifetime bans from participating in recognised snooker in any way."

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India, editing by Ed Osmond)

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