World Snooker

China’s Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng suspended by snooker body amid match-fixing investigation

Also suspended is Welshman David John as the WPBSA looks into suspected manipulation of matches and other charges

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 May, 2018, 8:14am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 May, 2018, 11:27pm

Chinese snooker players Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng, along with Welshman David John, have been suspended by the world governing body over suspected involvement in match-fixing.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), in its website, said world No 43 Yu, 30, 27-year-old Cao, ranked 38, and unranked John, 33, have cases to answer after lengthy investigations by the WPBSA Integrity Unit and Sportradar Integrity Services into suspected breaches of WPBSA Rules.

“The decision to suspend any player immediately is a difficult decision to take,” said Jason Ferguson, chairman of the WPBSA. “However, the WPBSA has a duty of care to ensure that snooker’s global integrity is securely preserved, therefore my decision is to remove any question marks over the sport during the time it takes to bring these matters to formal proceedings.”

The probe into Yu relates to the manipulating the outcome of five matches he was involved in since 2015, failing to report two approaches to fix a match, betting on snooker and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA inquiry.

For Cao, the investigation relates to manipulating the outcome of three matches in 2016 and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA inquiry.

For John, it involves the outcome of matches he was involved in since 2016 and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA inquiry. John lost his tour card last season.

The players are not allowed to attend or compete in events on the World Snooker Tour. The suspension will remain in place until the outcome of hearings at a date yet to be confirmed. The players have the right to appeal his decision, said the WPBSA.

Yu, from Shanxi in the north of China, has been playing since 2006, and his best performance to date was a semi-final appearance at the 2016-17 season Scottish Open. Last season, he reached the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open – his fourth career last-eight appearance.

Cao, from Guangzhou, first played on the tour in 2008-2009 and enjoyed his best year in the recently concluded season when he reached two finals – the Scottish Open and Gibraltar Open – as well as reaching the semi-finals of the European Masters.

It allowed him to boost his ranking from 89 to 38 in the world.

In 2013, Stephen Lee, the former world number five, was banned for 12 years after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing.

In April, Lee was charged in Hong Kong of teaching without a work permit. The British player said he would challenge the accusation and pleaded not guilty to one count of breaching conditions of his stay in Hong Kong. He is scheduled to stand trial from June 8 to 11.