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Allen told to expect sanctions

Mark Allen has been warned he could talk himself out of a career after the Northern Irishman's outburst against Chinese players led to a stern rebuke from World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn (pictured inset).

The 26-year-old could be suspended, Hearn confirmed, after claiming a generation of players emerging from China lack integrity.

If disciplinary chiefs decide Allen has committed an offence, it will be far from his first. The Antrim man has already been fined four times for controversial remarks this season, including a blast at Hearn during the UK Championship.

He has paid out more than £2,500 in fines already.

Allen's comments have been referred to the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, and Hearn said: "This is a very good time to be a snooker player. It's not a good time to be an idiot."

Allen spoke out after suffering a surprise Crucible defeat to world number 81 Cao Yupeng on Sunday, when he believed his opponent should have called a foul against himself midway through the match.

The Antrim potter said he was "disgusted" that Cao had not owned up to an offence, however television replays did not conclusively show there had been a foul.

Allen said: "It seems to be a bit of a trait for the Chinese players because there have been instances in the past of fouls and blatant cheating going on."

Hearn is determined to stamp out indiscipline, and said: "This is zero tolerance. We have the powers to do anything providing we've acted reasonably. It's a fine, a potential suspension or a ban."

Allen has already caused offence in China this season, branding Hainan, which staged the World Open, which ironically he won, as "horrendous" and its people as "ignorant".

He was fined £1,000 for those comments, but Hearn said: "I don't think it's a strong enough disincentive by any means.

"That's why our recommendation is that if he's found guilty this time I would expect the WPBSA to take a more serious approach. How far do we go until the players understand their responsibility to the game? There comes a point when you have to say enough is enough. I'm trusting the WPBSA disciplinary system to take that into account."

Marco Fu, the Hong Kong cueman, said he would talk to Allen.

Allen named Fu as a player he believed had broken snooker's moral code by not calling fouls on himself in the past.

"I can't recall any shot, especially against him," said Fu. "Maybe it came from (losing). You know what he's like. He needs to take responsibility for saying comments like that."