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Kong Linghui Suspended Over Gambling Debts

You may not be familiar with the name Kong Linghui. But you may very well have seen him play at some point. Linghui is one of the all-time table tennis greats and is known as the Ping-Pong Prince. But now he he is being sued by the Marina Bay Sands casino for 454,375 Singapore dollars, which is $327,600 USD.

Linghui visited the casino in February, 2015, accompanied by his parents, relatives and friends. He said they borrowed money from the casino under his name. But some of the money was repaid. Just not all of it.

“It is only until today after media reports have exposed the incident that I have learned someone had left some debt unsettled with the casino,” he said in a statement. “I am being dragged into the lawsuit. I have immediately requested the indebted to show up and clarify the facts. As we are in the middle of the World Table Tennis Championships, this incident has caused negative effect on the [national] team, which I feel deeply disturbed”.

Linghui is the coach China’s national women’s table tennis team and was told to return home after the news broke.

“The CTTA takes a firm stand against athletes, coaches and staff being involved in activities that violates social ethics, and will further investigate into the Kong Linghui case,” the CTTA said in a statement. “The case will be dealt with severely according to the relevant code of regulations.”

Linghui is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner. He has won nearly every major championship the sport has to offer and retired in 2006. But he couldn’t stay away from the game completely. And in 2013 he became coach of China’s national women’s team.

What happens next is anybody’s guess. He is likely to get the benefit of the doubt. But if the evidence looks bad he will be replaced as coach.

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