Yan Bingtao has been suspended from the World Snooker Tour as part of an ongoing investigation into match-fixing.
The decision was made by World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) Chairman Jason Ferguson, and took immediate effect.
The governing body said in a statement: “This decision is part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of manipulating the outcome of matches for betting purposes in breach of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations.”
The 22-year-old world number 16 champion is the sixth Chinese player to be suspended in the past two weeks. The other players are Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu.
Bingtao, who became the youngest Masters champion in 26 years when he defeated John Higgins in the final last year, has the right to appeal against the decision.
Bingtao had been due to play in the English Open this week but Ashley Hugill, his first-round opponent, has been given a walkover.
He was also due to play Mark Williams in the first round of the 2023 Masters at Alexandra Palace in January, but it is extremely likely that he will no longer feature and will be replaced in the draw.
Following the scandal, professional snooker player Shaun Murphy has called for any player who is found guilty of match-fixing to be ‘terminated’ from the sport.