The World Snooker Tour (WST) has seen another two suspensions as the investigation into allegations of manipulating outcomes of matches for betting purposes continues.
Zhao Xintong and Zhang Jiankang both can no longer attend or compete at the competition, a decision made by WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson.
The Chinese professionals see the decision with immediate effect. Xintong is ranked ninth best snooker player in the world, whilst Jiankang is at number 82.
“The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought. Both Zhao and Zhang have the right to appeal this decision,” the sport’s governing body stated.
The news follows the suspension of 22-year old number 16 champion Yan Bingtao who has also been accused of match-fixing.
Bingtao had been due to play in the English Open in the week commencing 12 December but his first-round opponent Ashley Hugill, was given a walkover.
The addition of Xintong and Jiankang takes the total to 10 Chinese players suspended from the tournament.
In line with the scandal, professional snooker player Shaun Murphy called for any player who is found guilty of match-fixing to be ‘terminated’ from the sport.
“No further comment will be made at this time, except in the event of any significant further developments,” the WPBSA added.