SNOOKER PLAYER Mark King has been suspended from the World Snooker Tour as part of an investigation into reports of irregular betting patterns.
The world No.57 from Romford was due to face Muhammad Asif on Saturday afternoon in Leicester in the first round of the WST Classic.
But that match never took place and Asif was handed a walkover victory due to the intervention of World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) chairman Jason Ferguson.
The WPBSA announced on Saturday that King would be suspended from “attending or competing” on the Tour with immediate effect.
This follows an initial probe of irregular betting patterns reported to the WPBSA in relation to the match between King and Joe Perry at the Welsh Open last month.
The suspension will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought.
King has the right to appeal this decision but if the investigation takes several weeks to conclude, it is likely he may end up missing out on the chance to appear at Crucible qualifying in Sheffield next month.
SunSport has contacted King for comment.
The 48-year-old Essex potter turned professional in 1991 and his only ranking title was the 2016 Northern Ireland Open when he beat Barry Hawkins 9-8 in the Belfast final.
There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of Perry who won that tie 4-0.
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News of King’s suspension comes as 10 Chinese players have been charged with a series of alleged match-fixing offences.
All of the stars – which include Triple Crown winners Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong – remain barred from competitions and will be absent from the 2023 World Snooker Championship.
Monday April 24 – day ten of the action at the Worlds in Sheffield – has been pencilled in for the start of the proceedings for the corruption probe that has rocked the sport.
Hearing interviews will be conducted by video link as nine of the ten players who have been suspended following allegations of fixing contests have returned to China.
Sport Resolutions have appointed Ian Mill KC to chair the independent disciplinary hearing.
Mill has extensive experience of working on different sporting cases and has chaired or sat on panels in tennis, cricket, boxing and football.
He was appointed as an anti-corruption hearing officer for world tennis in October 2014 and sits as a Steward of Appeal of the British Boxing Board of Control and as an FA Premier League Panel member.