Liang assault
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Liang Wenbo receives 4-month suspension after assault

It was determined that Liang Wenbo brought the game into disrepute after the domestic-related assault.

The Chinese competitor was originally suspended after a criminal conviction on April 1st of this year.

The ban coincided with the start of the World Snooker Championship qualifiers and resulted in Liang missing the preliminaries in Sheffield.

At the criminal hearing, Liang pleaded guility to the domestic-related assault and was handed a 12-month community order in addition to a fine worth £1,380.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association decided to hold their own investigation to decide whether the 35 year-old was in breach of any of their rules.

In a statement released on Saturday, it was revealed by the WPBSA that Liang was given a four-month suspension and fined £1,000 in costs.

It means that the former English Open champion will miss the start of the 2022/23 campaign, albeit only the Championship League and the European Masters qualifiers are scheduled between now and when his ban expires on August 1st.

There have been many fans who have already questioned the apparent leniancy of the outcome following the serious assault by Liang.

In April, it was revealed that the former UK Championship finalist was caught on CCTV footage last July punching, kicking, and dragging a woman.

Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said: “I have no doubt that this was a difficult case for the Independent Disciplinary Committee to deal with as it had already been heard in a criminal court.”

“Despite this, neither I, nor the WPBSA could accept this type of behaviour from one of our members which led me to immediately suspend Liang just prior to the largest event and with the biggest prize money of the snooker season.

“I am pleased the Committee upheld this decision.”

The full WPBSA statement

At a WPBSA Disciplinary Committee hearing on 26th May 2022, Liang Wenbo accepted that he had breached the WPBSA Rules and his players contract with World Snooker Limited (WSL).

This case arose from his criminal conviction at Sheffield Magistrates Court on 9th February 2022 and subsequent sentence hearing on 1st April 2022. The conviction was for domestic-related assault by beating where he pleaded guilty. He was fined a total of £1,380 and given a 12-month community order.

Despite this case being a matter outside of the sport itself, and the fact that it had been dealt with by a criminal court, the WPBSA decided that the case was so serious that there was a case for Liang to answer for breaches of the WPBSA Rules and his WSL players contract. The basis for this is that Liang’s behaviour and subsequent conviction is conduct unbecoming of a sportsperson and brings the sport of snooker into disrepute. Due to the serious nature of this, WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson immediately suspended Liang pending disciplinary proceedings just prior to him appearing in the World Snooker Championship.

The Independent Disciplinary Committee has subsequently found Liang to be in breach of the WPBSA Members Rules and his players contract with WSL.

On 3rd June 2022, the sanction imposed by the Independent Disciplinary Committee is that Liang be suspended from playing or being involved in all snooker events for a period of four months until 1st August 2022, and to pay £1,000 towards the costs of the hearing.

Liang has the right to appeal the decision of the Independent Disciplinary Committee.

The WPBSA Members Rules

1.1    Members shall, at all times (i.e., whether at a Tournament or not), behave in a proper and correct manner consistent with their status as professional sportsmen.

1.3   A Member shall not make or cause to be made any statement or commit or cause to be committed any act which in the reasonable view of the WPBSA is likely to bring into disrepute the games of snooker and/or billiards.

WSL Players Contract

3.5.1      Behave in a professional and reputable manner befitting a professional sportsperson.

Featured photo credit: WST

2 Comments

  1. Jamie Brannon

    This ban is an absolute joke. His lack of a custodial sentence was an insult to his victim and this punishment from World Snooker compounds it. The general message being sent out about female violence in our country is appalling. Former Kasabian singer Tom Meighan evaded prison in 2020 after beating his partner up in front of their son.

  2. Jamie Brannon

    At least a season ban would’ve probably seen him lose his tour card. All he misses now is a mickey mouse event and the European Masters.

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