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Wed, June 07, 2023

WPBSA v Ten Snooker Players

WPBSA v Ten Snooker Players

A decision in the case brought by the WPBSA against ten Snooker Player charged for Match Fixing offences has been issued by the Disciplinary Commission. 

Following an alert in August 2022 from the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), the WPBSA Integrity Unit carried out a detailed investigation that led to the WPBSA charging all ten players with serious breaches of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations. All ten players were suspended, pending the determination of those breaches. 

Sport Resolutions was asked to appoint and administer the Independent WPBSA Disciplinary Commission, comprising of Ian Mill KC (Chair), Grace Cheng and Gordon Mckay, that would hear the charges against Liang Wenbo, Li Hang, Lu Ning, Yan Bingtao, Zhao Xintong, Zhao Jianbo, Chang Bingyu, Bai Langning, Chen Zifan and Zhang Jiankang. 

After a four-day hearing, the Disciplinary Commissiong determined that: 

1. Liang Wenbo has been found in to be in breach of the Conduct Regulations as follows: 

• That he fixed or was a party to fix five snooker matches between 24th July and 28th September 2022

• That he solicited, induced, enticed, persuaded, encouraged, or facilitated players to fix nine matches between 24th July and 13th December 2022 

• That between 1st September 2019 and 31st December 2022 he bet on snooker matches in breach of the rules. 

• That he behaved in conduct that was corrupt by threatening another player and making him delete his messages on his phone. 

• That he threatened another player to seek to persuade him not to assist the WPBSA enquiry. 

• That he on or after 1st September 2022 when aware of the WPBSA enquiry covered up or attempted to cover up his involvement in match fixing by deleting messages on his mobile phone and by requesting that other players deleted messages on their phones. 

• That he failed to cooperate with the WPBSA enquiry by failing to attend interviews and provide material requested by the WPBSA enquiry. 

2. Li Hang has been found to be in breach of the Conduct Regulations as follows: 

• That he fixed or was a party to fix five snooker matches between 24th July and 29th September 2022

• That he solicited, induced, enticed, persuaded, encouraged or facilitated players to fix seven snooker matches between 24th July and 13th December 2022. 

• That between 1st September 2019 and 31st December 2022 he bet on snooker matches in breach of the rules. 

• That he on or after 1st September 2022 when aware of the WPBSA enquiry covered up or attempted to cover up his involvement in match fixing by deleting messages on his mobile phone and by requesting that other players deleted messages on their phones. 

3. Lu Ning was found not to have been involved in inducing others to fix matches. He accepted the following: 

               • That in the 2014-15 season he fixed three snooker matches that he played in 

               • That he on 23rd July 2022 he fixed one snooker match that he played in. 

               • That between 1st September 2019 and 31st December 2022 he bet on snooker matches in breach of the rules. 

               • That he on or after 1st September 2022 when aware of the WPBSA enquiry covered up or attempted to cover up his involvement in match fixing by deleting messages on his mobile phone. 

4. Yan Bingtao accepted the following: 

                • That he on 29th August 2016 fixed one match that he played in 

                • That he between 3rd March 2022 and 29th September 2022 fixed three snooker matches that he played in. 

• That between 1st September 2019 and 31st December 2022 he bet on snooker matches in breach of the rules. 

5. Zhao Xintong accepted the following:

• That he on 3rd March and 11th March 2022 he was a party to another player fixing two snooker matches. 

• That between 1st September 2019 and 31st December 2022 he bet on snooker matches in breach of the rules. He is to pay £7,500 in costs.

6. Zhao Jianbo accepted the following: 

              • That he on 26th August 2022 fixed a snooker match that he was playing in 

              • That he bet on the snooker match that he fixed. 

7. Chang Bingyu accepted that he on 28th September 2022 had fixed a snooker match that he was playing in. 

8. Bai Langning accepted that he on 26th September 2022 had fixed a snooker match that he was playing in. 

9. Chen Zifan accepted the following: 

             • That he between 24th July and 23rd August 2022 fixed or contrived, or were a party to an effort to fix or contrive the result or score of three snooker matches that he played in 

10. Zhang Jiankang accepted the following: 

              • That he on 22nd July 2022 fixed a match that he was playing in 

              • That between 1st September 2019 and 31st December 2022 he bet on snooker matches in breach of the rules. 

              • That he failed to provide information requested by the WPBSA 

The Disciplinary Commission issued the following sanctions on each player: 

1.  Liang Wenbo has been given a lifetime from snooker and is to pay £43,000 in costs. 

2. Li Hang has been given a lifetime from snooker and is to pay £43,000 in costs. 

3. Lu Ning has been given an 8 year suspension, reduced following early admissions and his plea of guilty, to 5 years and 4 months until 6 April 2028. He is to pay £7,500 in costs. 

4. Yan Bingtao has been given a 7 year and 6 months suspension, reduced following early admissions and plea of guilty, to 5 years until 11 December 2027. He is to pay £7,500 in costs.

5. Zhao Xintong has been given a 2 year and 6 months suspension, reduced following early admissions and his plea of guilty, to 1 year and 8 months until 1 September 2024. He is to pay £7,500 in costs. 

6. Zhao Jianbo has been given a 3 year and 6 months suspension, reduced following early admissions and his plea of guilty, to 2 years and 4 months until 7 April 2025. He is to pay £7,500 in costs. 

7. Chang Bingyu has been given a 3 year suspension, reduced following early admissions and his plea of guilty, to 2 years until 7 December 2024. He is to pay £7,500 in costs. 

8. Bai Langning has been given a 4 year suspension, reduced following early admissions and his plea of guilty, to 2 years and 8 months until 6 August 2025. He is to pay £7,500 in costs. 

9. Chen Zifan has been given a 7 year and 6 months suspension, reduced following early admissions and his plea of guilty, to 5 years until 20 December 2027. He is to pay £7,500 in costs. 

10. Zhang Jiankang has been given a 4 year and 5 months suspension, reduced following early admissions and his plea 

A copy of the full decision can be accessed via the related documents tab on the right-hand side. 

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