Snooker crisis continues as 11th player banned and under investigation

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Mark King has been suspended from the World Snooker Tour amid an ongoing investigation into irregular betting patterns.

A former Northern Ireland Open winner, King was banned following an initial investigation into his 4-0 defeat to Joe Perry in the first round of the Welsh Open. “WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson has today taken the decision to suspend Mark King from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect,” a statement from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association read.

“This follows an initial investigation of irregular betting patterns reported to the WPBSA on the match between Mark King and Joe Perry at the Welsh Open on 13th February 2023.

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

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Perry, who is not under investigation, said following the news of King’s suspension that he thought the 48-year-old had simply not had “such a good day at the office” when he beat him. “I’ve not heard anything about it, I’ve had no input whatsoever up to this point,” Perry told the Metro.

“We’re both getting on and both capable of playing some good stuff and some awful stuff, I just thought he had not such a good day at the office. That’s how I saw it, no more, no less.

“I’m shocked to be honest, really shocked. It’s well-documented he had a gambling addiction years ago and he’s done so well to stay away from that, I know he’s worked hard to stay away from that.

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“I hope it comes to nothing, I hope it’s just a coincidence and it comes to nothing. I’d hate to see any truth in it.” King has become the 11th player currently suspended, with ten Chinese players charged with match-fixing back in January.

Yan Bingtao, Lu Ning, Zhang Jiankang, Chen Zifan, Chang Bingyu and Zhao Jianbo were all charged with fixing a match or matches, while Liang Wenbo, Li Hang, Zhao Xintong and Bai Langning were charged with ‘being concerned with fixing matches’ among other offences.

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