Snooker Player That Ronnie O’Sullivan Tipped to Be “Greatest of All Time” Gets 20-Month Match-Fixing Ban

  • Ten Chinese players received suspensions from the WPBSA for match-fixing offenses
  • Two of these individuals received lifetime bans for being the ringleaders of the scheme
  • Zhao Xintong got a 20-month ban and was the only one not to directly fix matches
Zhao Xintong
Zhao Xintong, a Chinese snooker player, has received a hefty ban for match-fixing.

A snooker player who Ronnie O’Sullivan once tipped to one day become the “greatest of all time” has received a 20-month ban from the sport. Zhao Xintong and nine others were caught up in a major crackdown on corruption by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).

two players received lifetime bans for fixing matches

Ten Chinese snooker professionals were involved in the scheme, dubbed the sport’s worst-ever match-fixing scandal by Chinese media. Reportedly the ringleaders of the scheme, two players received lifetime bans for fixing matches and getting others to do so.

Zhao Xintong and Yan Bingtao were the two most high-profile players to receive bans. The former won the 2021 UK Championship and the latter captured the Masters the same year. Yan received a five-year ban for fixing two matches, while Zhao got away with just 20 months.

Zhao was the only one of the ten individuals to not directly fix matches, although he was party to the offenses. Officials uncovered the match-fixing scheme after the International Betting Integrity Association flagged suspicious betting activity.

Zhao Xintong has since released a statement confronting the allegations. Claiming he regrets his “ignorance and stupidity,” he apologized to everyone he had let down. Zhao claims that he never manipulated games but would place bets for some of his fellow players. He concluded by vowing to return to the sport with a “cleaner image.”

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