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Chen Zifan is eighth Chinese player suspended

Chen Zifan has been suspended, it has been announced by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association on Friday.

The 27 year-old becomes the eighth player from China to be suspended in the last couple of months amid an ongoing investigation into match-fixing.

“WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend Chen Zifan from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect,” the statement read.

“This decision is part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of manipulating the outcome of matches for betting purposes in breach of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations.”

“The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought. Chen Zifan has the right to appeal this decision.

“No further comment will be made except in the event of any significant further developments.”

Chen turned professional in 2017 and has reached a career-high ranking of number 76 in the world during the past five years.

He joins fellow Chinese competitors Yan Bingtao, Liang Wenbo, Lu Ning, Li Hang, Bai Langning, Chang Bingyu, and Zhao Jianbo on the suspended list.

The story has rocked the sport in recent weeks, and the continued addition of further players represents a worrying trend.

Speculation has been rife as to how deep this scandal runs.

In the immediate aftermath of being suspended earlier in December, Chang claimed that Liang threatened him to fix his British Open fixture with Jamie Jones this season.

In a now deleted post that has been translated into English, the 20 year-old said: “On the morning of the start of the game, Liang Wenbo called me in a threatening tone, saying he was in my game against Jamie Jones.”

“I was afraid that he had bet so much money. If I didn’t agree, he would make trouble for me, so I had no choice but to agree. I was very scared.

“No matter what the reason is for the match-fixing, it is my mistake, and I will actively cooperate with the investigation.

“I can accept my punishment, but I was really scared at the time. I didn’t receive any money.”

The investigation continues.

Featured photo credit: WST

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