LONDON: Chinese snooker player Liang Wenbo has been suspended till Aug 1 from World Snooker events following his conviction for a domestic-related assault, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) have said.
The 35-year-old former UK Championship runner-up was fined £1,380 and given a 12-month community order earlier this year for assaulting a woman in the northern English city of Sheffield in July 2021.
He pleaded guilty after closed circuit television footage showed him hitting and kicking a woman in the street in a “sustained and deliberate” attack.
The WPBSA had not been aware of the incident until they read about it in the newspapers in early April and suspended him immediately, which saw him miss out on the World Championships.
The disciplinary committee then held an enquiry and issued a statement yesterday on the WPBSA website announcing their decision.
At a WPBSA disciplinary committee hearing in May, “Liang Wenbo accepted that he had breached the WPBSA rules and his player’s contract with World Snooker Limited”, read the statement.
“The sanction imposed by the independent disciplinary committee is that Liang be suspended from playing or being involved in all snooker events for a period of four months until Aug 1, 2022, and to pay £1,000 towards the costs of the hearing.”
Jason Ferguson, chairman of the WPBSA, said he was pleased the committee had upheld his earlier decision to suspend Liang.
“Neither I, nor the WPBSA could accept this type of behaviour from one of our members which led me to immediately suspend Liang just prior to the largest event and with the biggest prize money of the snooker season,” he said.
Liang reached the UK final in 2015, losing to Australia’s Neil Robertson, and won his lone ranking title at the English Open the following year.
Liang has the right to appeal.