Yan Bingtao: why has ex Masters champion been suspended by WPBSA - match fixing claims, net worth explained

Yan Bingtao will be unillegible to play in Brentwood this week due to an ongoing investigation

China’s Yan Bingtao has been suspended from the World Snooker Tour as part of an ongoing investigation into match-fixing. The former Masters champion is now the sixth chinese snooker player to have been suspended with the other five having received their bans last week.

Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu were all suspended pending the result of the investigation while fellow countryman Liang Wenbo was also suspended in October.

Yan, the world number 16 and former Masters Champion, has been banned from attending or competing at events with immediate effect as the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association continue to investigate allegations that matches were manipulated for betting purposes.

The 22-year-old was due to play at the English Open in Brentwood this week, but will now not feature in the draw.

Who is Yan Bingtao?

Born in 2000, Yan became the youngest player for 26 years to win the Masters Open when he defeated John Higgins 10-8 last year. He is also the youngest player to have won the Amateur World Snooker Championship after he defeated Muhammad Sajjad 8-7.

Yan beat Higgins (L) in 2021 Masters tournamentYan beat Higgins (L) in 2021 Masters tournament
Yan beat Higgins (L) in 2021 Masters tournament

The 22-year-old, from Shandong province China, won Gold at the 2017 Ashgabat Asian Indoor and Mixed Martial Arts Games and is currently ranked 16 in the world snooker rankings having previously enjoyed a high of 10 in March 2021. In ranking finals, Yan won the 2019 Riga Masters, beating Mark Joyce in the final, and has been runner-up at the Northern Ireland Open (2017), Players Championship (2020) and German Masters (2022).

What has been said?

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson spoke to Eurosport saying: “Any player who thinks they can get away with (match-fixing) is completely foolish. We are a sport that puts it out in the public domain and we will not have it talked about behind the scenes.”

There was also a statement confirming the suspensions that said: “WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend Yan Bingta from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect. This dcision 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. Yan Bingtao has the right to appeal this decision.”

Discussing the news, snooker legend Jimmy White labelled said: “(It’s) a really bad day for snooker. We obviously have to wait for the inquiry. This has to be out of the game, it has to be gone. You cannot have any crooked business in any sport, it has to be ironed out and I’m sure it will be.”

What is Yan Bingtao’s net worth?

According to Forbes and IMDb, Yan Bingtao has an estimated net worth of $5million (£4m) making him one of the richer snooker players on the circuit.

When is the English Open?

The English Open began today, Monday 12 December, and will conclude on Sunday 18 December with Neil Robertson hopeful of defending his 2021 crown. Eurosport has all the coverage from Brentwood with subscriptions to the Eurosport player costing from £6.99/month.