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China's Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng banned for match-fixing

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(Reuters) – Chinese snooker players Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng have been handed lengthy bans after being found guilty of match-fixing, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) said on its website on Saturday.

Yu was banned for 10 years and nine months for manipulating the outcome of five matches over a 2-1/2 year period in what the WPBSA described as “deliberate and premeditated corruption to secure substantial financial gain”.

Yu, who was ranked world number 43 when the charges were made in May, will serve the longest suspension in snooker since England’s Stephen Lee was banned for 12 years in 2013.

Cao, the world number 38 when the pair were charged, also pleaded guilty to fixing three matches and was banned for six years, with 3-1/2 years of the sentence suspended.

“It is very sad when talented players are attracted to the opportunity to make money from fixing matches,” WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said in a statement.

“The WPBSA has very effective prevention and monitoring processes that protect the sport. Where players ignore this, they risk their careers and they will be caught.

“Cao Yupeng has shown true remorse and he will assist the WPBSA in player education and in its fight against corruption, which is reflected in his reduced sanction.”

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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