Cao Yupeng and Yu Delu banned

This was published today by Worldsnooker

WPBSA Disciplinary Hearing Result

At hearings that took place on 21st September and 2nd November 2018 before a three person Independent Tribunal Chaired by David Casement QC, Cao Yupeng and Yu Delu admitted breaches of the WPBSA Members Rules.  This followed a lengthy investigation by the WPBSA Integrity Unit working with Sportradar Integrity Services and with support from the SBIU at the UK Gambling Commission. 

 In the case of Yu Delu the Tribunal found that he engaged in deliberate and premeditated corruption to secure substantial financial gain for his friends/associates and himself. He was involved in match-fixing on five occasions in five tournaments and his activity covers a period of 2 and a half years and he did this for substantial reward. He also admitted lying to the investigator, failing to cooperate with the investigation and betting on snooker when prohibited from doing so.

The finding of the Tribunal was that the starting point for Mr Delu was a suspension of 12 years. He was given credit for his plea of guilty, albeit late in the proceedings, and the actual sanction imposed was a suspension of 10 years and 9 months to run from 25th May 2018 until 24th February 2029. He was also ordered to pay £20,823.80 towards the WPBSA costs.

In the case of Cao Yupeng, he admitted to fixing the outcome of three matches in 2016 and failing to fully cooperate with the WPBSA inquiry.

 The finding of the Tribunal was that the starting point for Mr Yupeng was a suspension of eight years. He was given credit for his plea of guilty which reduced the suspension to six years. Of that period he will serve a suspension of two and a half years unconditionally. The remaining three and a half years shall be suspended provided there is compliance with the written terms agreed between Mr Yupeng and the WPBSA to provide significant assistance to the WPBSA in its anti-corruption work.

Provided Mr Yupeng complies with his written agreement with the WPBSA, his suspension will run from 25th May 2018 until 24th November 2020. He was ordered to pay £15,558 towards the WPBSA costs.

Jason Ferguson Chairman of the WPBSA said: “It is very sad when talented players are attracted to the opportunity to make money from fixing matches. 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.

“The sanctions handed down to these players by the Independent Tribunal reflect how seriously the WPBSA treats such cases. This was a lengthy and difficult enquiry for which the Tribunal commended the WPBSA for its skill and professionalism in the investigation and presentation of the case.”

The full findings of the Independent Tribunal can be found here.

WPBSA -v- Yu Delu – Decision on Sanction

WPBSA-v-Cao-Yupeng-Decision-on-Sanction

Both Players have 28 days to appeal the decision of the Tribunal

 

 Yu Delu charges admitted

1. That you agreed to fix the outcome of your match with Martin McCrudden at the Indian Open Qualifiers on 12th February 2015 in breach of Rule 2.1.2.1 ,

2. That you agreed to fix the outcome of your match with Dominic Dale at the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany on 29th August 2015 in breach of Rule 2.1.2.1 ,

3. That you agreed to fix the outcome of your match with Ian Glover at the Welsh Open in Wales on 15th February 2016 in breach of Rule 2.1.2.1 ,

4. That you agreed to fix the outcome of your match with Michael Georgiou at the European Masters Qualifiers on 4th August 2017 in breach of Rule 2.1.2.1 ,

5. That you agreed to fix the outcome of your match with Kurt Maflin at the Shanghai Masters on 15th November 2017 in breach of Rule 2.1.2.1 ,

6. Between June and October 2017 you were approached to fix a match that you were to play in and you failed to report the approaches within 24 hours to the Company Secretary or Tournament Official in breach of Rule 4.1 of the WPBSA Members Rules.

8. That you failed to cooperate with the investigation by failing to provide material that was requested of you during the investigation in breach of Rule 4.4 of the WPBSA Members Rules.

9. That you have been betting on snooker in breach of Rule 2.1.1.1 of the WPBSA Members Rules,

 

Cao Yupeng charges admitted

1.That you agreed to fix the outcome of your match with Ali Carter at the Welsh Open in Wales 15th January 2016 in breach of Rule 2.1.2.1 ,

2. That you agreed to fix the outcome of your match with Stuart Bingham Indian Open Qualifiers on 30th June 2016 in breach of Rule 2.1.2.1 ,

3. That you agreed to fix the outcome of your match with Stephen Maguire at the UK Championships in York on 24th November 2016 in breach of Rule 2.1.2.1 ,

4. That you failed to cooperate with the investigation by failing to provide material that was requested of you during the investigation in breach of Rule 4.4 of the WPBSA Members Rules

 

WPBSA Betting Rules extracts:

  1. Betting misconduct

2.1   It shall be a breach of these Rules for a Member to do any of the following:
2.1.1 Betting:

2.1.1.1 to place, accept, lay or otherwise make a Bet with any other person in               relation to the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the        Tour and/or any Tournament or Match in events sanctioned by the               WPBSA, WSL or WBL;

  • Corruption:

2.1.2.1  to fix or contrive, or to be a party to any effort to fix or contrive, the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match;

  1. Reporting Breaches
    • In the event that a Member is approached or solicited in any way (whether directly or indirectly) to influence the outcome or conduct of any game of snooker or billiards whether or not in return for payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit (an “Approach”), that Member (the “Reporting Member”) shall report such an Approach to the WPBSA (via the Company Secretary or a Tournament Official) as soon as reasonably practicable and in any event not later than 24 hours after any such Approach being made. Further, the Reporting Member shall provide the WPBSA (via the Company Secretary or a Tournament Official) with all information in his or her knowledge relating to the Approach and shall co-operate in any subsequent investigation and/or other action(s) arising out of such a report
  • Each Member shall co-operate with the WPBSA in any investigation carried out by the WPBSA under the provisions of these Rules including (but not limited to):
  • Providing a written statement setting out in detail all of the facts and circumstances with respect to any alleged breach;
  • Attending to answer questions and provide such information at a time and place determined by the WPBSA
  • Providing to the WPBSA upon its request any documents, information or any other material of any nature whatsoever held by the Member; and
  • Procuring and providing to the WPBSA upon its request any documents, information or any other material of any nature whatsoever not held by the Member which the Member has the power to obtain.
  • Providing the WPBSA with access to all records relating to the alleged breach. This includes, but is not limited to; betting accounts, bank records, telephone records, internet service records, social media accounts, email and other records stored on phones, tablets, electronic devices, computer hard drives or To facilitate this, the Member will surrender any such devices for examination by the WPBSA or its representative.

The full WPBSA Members Rules can be viewed here.

The CBSA, the Chinese Billiard and Snooker Association, issued similar bans, which means that they won’t be able to play in China either.

I believe that the huge difference in the ban length comes from the very different circumstances and attitude of the players. Cao pleaded financial difficulties, that were real, showed remorse and accepted to collaborate with WPBSA to educate young players in order to try to avoid similar situations in the future. He also didn’t commit any further offence from 2016 on.

I honestly think that paying the first round losers a minimal wage may help prevent such situations. Not in every case but in quite a few. It wouldn’t be “rewarding mediocrity” because the players who don’t win matches won’t stay on the tour whatever. After all it takes two to play a match, and by playing, the players bring value to the tournament, and the sponsors. They should get something for it. Barry Hearn’s comparison with golf doesn’t hold water: in golf where the ball ends is entirely in the player’s hand, in snooker the situation on the table when a player comes to it, depends on their opponent at least as much as on themselves. In addition golfers play for a performance level, snooker players have to beat an opponent and that can be harder or easier depending on the luck of the draw.

9 thoughts on “Cao Yupeng and Yu Delu banned

  1. This makes me wonder about Yupeng’s collapse in the final of the Scottish Open last year against Neil Robertson, though I suppose if he were losing that match on purpose he wouldn’t have risked taking such a big lead in the first place. But then again, maybe taking and losing a big lead looks a little less suspicious than playing poorly throughout…?

    From what I have read, the match fixing that happens in snooker (that we know about) seems to be relatively benign in the sense that the players involved seem to participate voluntarily, whereas I’m under the impression that at least some of the match fixing in other sports involves scary mafia type people threatening to harm players and their families if they don’t agree to throw matches…

    • I suppose it’s possible Cao Yupeng lost that final deliberately, but there was one black he missed for the match which was so close that he probably couldn’t have known whether it would drop in. But things are obviously a lot more complicated than that.

      In terms of the intimidation that Steve Davis referred to, there was that case of the fire started in Keith Warren’s house in 2013, aimed at Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon and Passakorn Suwannawat, that could have killed 15-year old Lyu Haotian.

      But I agree with Monique (and Stuart Bingham), that all this betting stuff is unhealthy for the game in general, but it doesn’t seem like there are enough alternative sponsors.

    • I’m very sure that Cao didn’t lose that final on purpose. And I wouldn’t be so certain that some players are not forced into fixing, especially the Asian ones. James Wattana had his family threatened with death when he was at his peak, two young Thais had their apartment arsoned and fled back to their country a few years back. And that’s only what transpires. Usually the victims of such pressures don’t dare to talk.

      • If I understand correctly, you (Monique) don’t like John Higgins because he was involved in match fixing at one point. Were you certain that his involvement was strictly voluntarily rather than coerced…?

      • I don’t think John was coerced, but I do believe that his manager, Pat Mooney was the main culprit. However John was no kid, he could have refused to play along (instead in the video he spontaneously comes forward with a way to laundry the money) , he could have reported the approach … he did none of that. He said that he was scared but he certainly didn’t look scared to me in that video.

  2. Well there are a lot of concepts borrowed from golf, for no particularly good reason: “Money Lists”, “Tour Cards”, “Rookie of the Year”.

    Yu Delu, unlike all the other Chinese players who came through academies, started out playing for money in Beijing clubs, like a 1950’s hustler. Perhaps he never managed to escape that. Cao Yupeng’s case was much sadder, as he had just broken through to two ranking finals, and looked set to become a top-16 player – a remarkable turnaround. Perhaps too remarkable. Apart from the financial pressures, there may have also been a personal disconnect. How many times I see people comment on social media saying that they will stop watching snooker if it is dominated by the Chinese? They are unloved. The frustrating thing is that after these two cases, that situation will only get much much worse: people screaming “I told you so”.

    • Yes, of course. Snookerbacker and his friends were at it immediately hoping for a ban for “the other cheats from the same neck of the woods”. Those same people have shown sympathy for St. Lee, Jamie Jones, John Sutton … Double standards.

      • Yes and it’s why I think we should be introduced to the overseas players as individuals, rather than some anonymous block, hence my point about nobody interviewing Chen Feilong (whose name means “flying dragon” – what a great story that could have been!). They need to be brought closer to the family, so to speak, not treated like outsiders. At the start of the BBC’s coverage today, they referred to the games in the sports hall: “Jack Lisowski, Mark Davis, Jimmy Robertson and Ben Woollaston against four Chinese players”. The Chinese players didn’t appear to have names.

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