Updated ITTF Statement on Ma Long, Fan Zhendong & Xu Xin China Open ForfeitsPhoto: ITTF
Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open
At the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum China Open, the top three players in the world MA Long, FAN Zhendong and XU Xin did not turn up for their round of 16 matches on 23 June 2017, which resulted in the trio forfeiting their matches.
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 Table Tennis Team.
In the coming days, 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 round of 16 matches.
The ITTF World Tour is one of ITTF's most prestigious products, with millions of fans, and countless partners following around the globe with anticipation to watch the world's best players in action.
For this reason, the ITTF is taking this matter extremely seriously, as this has damaged the image and the integrity of table tennis globally. 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.
The ITTF is looking forward to four fantastic finals today in Chengdu, China:
- Women's Doubles Final: DING Ning & LIU Shiwen (CHN) v CHEN Meng & ZHU Yuling (CHN), which is a repeat of the 2017 World Championships Final
- Men's Doubles Final: Tomokazu HARIMOTO & Yuto KIZUKURI (JPN) v Jin UEDA & Maharu YOSHIMURA (JPN), 13-year-old HARIMOTO going for his first senior doubles title
- Women's Singles Final: DING Ning (CHN) v SUN Yingsha (CHN) the World and Olympic Champion DING Ning v the star of the future, 16-year-old SUN.
- Men's Singles Final: Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (GER) v Timo BOLL (GER) a battle of good friends and National Team Mates.