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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2017, 21:07 
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Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin, the three highest ranked men's players in the world, have all been fined $20,000 (£15,000/€17,000) by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) after they failed to appear for their respective second round matches at the China Open in June.

The Chinese trio were thought to have withdrawn in protest at the decision to remove Liu Guoliang as head coach of the men's team and instead name him vice-president of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA).

Their actions breached section 3.5.3 of the ITTF rules requiring that states: "Players do their upmost to win a match and shall not withdraw except for reasons of illness or injury".

None of the three provided any immediate explanation for why they did not turn up for their matches, but did then speak to the ITTF Disciplinary Commission.

The Commission decided that "due to the three players let down the global fans at the China Open due to their actions, and damaged the reputation of the ITTF, that a one month suspension would have been justified".

It added: "However due to the players’ explanations, both their own and CTTA’s assurances that such behaviour will not be repeated, the three players will not receive any suspension, and will be fined $20,000 each for breaching section of 3.5.3 of ITTF rules.

"The decision of the disciplinary panel is effective immediately due to the players have not appealed the decision, which is their constitutional right and have accepted their punishment.

"The ITTF is looking forward to welcoming Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin back to the ITTF World Tour and for the three icons of the sport to be role models for the millions of table tennis players across the world."

The fines are relatively minimal when compared with the incomes of top Chinese table tennis players, who are among the highest-paid sport's stars in the country.

It is still substantial, however, considering that prize money in table tennis is lower than other sports.

Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov received $25.000 (£19,000/€21,000) for winning the China Open following the withdrawals.

Ma is the reigning world and Olympic singles and team champion and the widely considered best player in the sport.

Fan was narrowly beaten in a thrilling seven-set World Championship final by his team-mate this year and won the 2016 Men's World Cup.

Xu in a world bronze medallist and member of the team which claimed the Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016.

All three players were thought to be upset at the sudden departure of their longstanding coach Liu, the Atlanta 1996 singles and doubles champion, who was thought to have been removed as part of a political reshuffle.

"These reforms will better prepare the Chinese team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo," a CTTA spokesperson said at the time.

Ma suffered his first loss to a non-Chinese player in five years when beaten by Germany's Timo Boll in the semi-finals of the ITTF World Cup in Liège earlier this month.

It had been his first international appearance since his China Open withdrawal, although there were rumours he was struggling with injury.

Fan also produced a below par performance in losing to team-mate Lin Gaoyuan in the final of Asia Cup in September.

-------------------

China's two-time Olympic champion and leading women's coach, Kong Linghui, was also sent home from the World Championships in Düsseldorf in June after being sued by a Singapore hotel casino for allegedly failing to repay a gambling debt (which was later paid off by a rich friend).

Kong, winner of the men's doubles gold medal at Atlanta 1996 and the singles title at Sydney 2000, was in the German city as head coach of the Chinese women's team.

According to a court case filed in Hong Kong, the 41-year-old signed an agreement in February 2015 to borrow S$1 million (£567,000/$721,000/€645,000) from the Marina Bay Sands hotel to establish him as a "premium player".

He had supposedly since repaid only S$545,625 (£309,000/$393,000/€352,000).

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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2017, 01:58 
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Ppl will say all this is rumors and hearsay and that its all conspiracy theories.

Fact is LGL and KLH, are victims of political turmoil going on similar to a "Cultural Revolution". ML, XX and FZD are now punished as victims in the ongoing power struggle.

We will not see much spotlight on LGL/KLH future again. ML, XX and FZD will retire and they too will "disappear".

I don't know who "Bo Xilai" and others are, but Xi Jinping has been doing a lot of damage in his rise to
consolidate his power base.

I would not be surprised if ML , XX and FZD beat ONLY Japanese/Asian players and continue losing to European top-players.

Not having your coach and being forced to do all your training yourself with no guidance can sap the human spirit.

I hope Ma Lin, Wang Hao and Wang Liqin and other veteran players step up to help steady the ship.

Can't see the Chinese TT maintaining their dominance anymore.


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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2017, 18:48 
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Yeah, you're right, I think you're reading way too much into this. Whether (or when) Ma Long, Xu Xin or Fan Zhendong will ride off into the sunset will depend on their continued performance rather than on anything the Chinese state or CTTA or ITTF does.

That said, we are entering a very interesting time in the development of China. We have a very strong leader who's managed to consolidate power and sideline his rivals, and has, outwardly at least, been taking steps to reduce the degree of corruption and nepotism in the Chinese Communist Party. It's also a time when China as a nation has become very assertive in its dealings with the outside world, behaving much like the US did in the 1950s and 60s (in both good and bad ways). You've also got really weird situations elsewhere around the world, in particular the United States. And some VERY dangerous situations (North Korea comes to mind). Where this will lead long term, who knows. But barring war, and the total collapse of international sporting organizations and relationships, I don't think any of it will have much effect on table tennis, at least in the next 5 years.

I do find the term "belt and road" amusing, though.. :lol:

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 05:51 
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I sure hope that ITTF will put that $60,000 fine into good use for TT.


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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 16:47 
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[sarcasm]Yeah, I'm very sure they're going to squander it on frivolities...[/sarcasm] :lol:

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