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Two Chinese players handed lifetime bans from snooker

Chinese players Liang Wenbo and Li Hang are each handed lifetime bans after being found guilty in the WPBSA's match-fixing investigation.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that Liang Wenbo and Li Hang have each been handed lifetime bans for match-fixing.

At the beginning of 2023, it was revealed that 10 Chinese players had been charged and would subsequently remain suspended until an investigation had been carried out.

A range of charges were handed to the players in question, but the most serious involved Wenbo and Hang as they were accused of manipulating matches, encouraging other players to fix matches and betting on matches.

With regards to Wenbo, he has been found guilty of each of those offences, as well as threatening at least one player to delete messages on his phone.

Hang was found guilty of similar charges, plus made the decision to delete messages on his phone and encouraged other players involved to do the same.

Wenbo, the former world number 11, and Hang, who played at the 2019 World Snooker Championship, will also pay a fine of £43,000 to cover costs.

The most notable player of the 10 is Yan Bingtao, the 2021 Masters champion, and he will now serve a five-year ban, reduced to that length due to "early admissions and plea of guilty".

The other seven players - Lu Ning, Zhao Xintong, Zhao Jianbo, Chang Bingyu, Bai Langning, Chen Zifan and Zhang Jiankang - were all handed punishments between 20 months and five years.

However, like with Bingtao, their punishments were reduced due to their early admission of guilt and not attempting to hinder the investigation.

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Liang Wenbo in action in 2016.
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Ten Chinese snooker players charged after match-fixing investigation