The World Snooker Tour (WST) has banned English player Mark King pending the outcome of an inquiry into betting patterns that occurred during a match at the Welsh Open last month.
At the competition in Wales’ city of Llandudno on February 13, King was defeated by fellow countryman Joe Perry 4-0.
Following “an early assessment of unusual betting patterns revealed to the WPBSA” on the match vs. Perry, King was prohibited from attending or taking part in the World Snooker Tour (WST), according to WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson.
According to the WPBSA, the suspension will be in effect “until the end of the investigation or any further charges that may or may not be made.”
King has the option to challenge the decision, and the 48-year-old, who became a pro in 1991, is now rated 57th on the WST.
His ranking victory came at the 2016 Northern Ireland Open, and he has advanced seven times to the round of 16 of the World Championship, most recently in 2013 Perry, who is not going to be investigated, expressed disbelief over King’s suspension.
Perry told Metro news, “I haven’t heard anything about it, and I haven’t had any influence whatsoever up to this time.
We’re both ageing and capable of playing some terrific and some bad stuff. No more, no less—that’s how I saw the situation, and to be completely honest, I’m astonished. He has a long history of gambling addiction, and he has done well to keep away from it. I know he has fought very hard to do so.”
One of the largest scandals in the history of snooker was the WPBSA charging against 10 Chinese players in January with match-fixing offences. The 10 players in question will not compete in this year’s World Championship in Sheffield because of a court hearing that is due to start on April 24.
Zhao Xintong, the world’s ninth-ranked player and winner of the 2021 UK Championship, and Yan Bingtao, the 2021 Masters champion, are two of the players accused and will be absent from the World Championship.