The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has received a preliminary statement from the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) and a public apology from the Chinese team after top three players Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin did not turn up for their Round of 16 matches, which resulted in the trio forfeiting their matches at the Seamaster ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open in Chengdu, China, on June 23.
The ITTF has requested a detailed report from the CTTA and also from the ITTF officials on site outlining in more detail as to why the three players failed to turn up for their matches.
The ITTF World Tour is one of the most prestigious events, with millions of fans, and countless partners following around the globe with anticipation to watch the world’s best players in action.
The world body is taking this issue seriously, as this has damaged the image and the integrity of the sport. Right now, all potential sanctions are on the table, and the ITTF will continue its investigation before any decisions are made.
The ITTF will also work closely with its Athletes’ Commission to try and get a better understanding as to why this incident happened, and provide education and guidance to the players to ensure such an incident does not happen again in the future.