Guangdong guard Zhao Rui banned three matches for violating CBA's anti-virus measures

2020-06-28 07:18:59 GMT2020-06-28 15:18:59(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Saturday handed Guangdong Southeast Tigers guard Zhao Rui a three-match suspension as the latter violated the league's COVID-19 containment measures.

This was the first punishment that was inflicted since the league's restart on June 20.

To safeguard all participants' safety, the league has dispatched credentials of different colors to different groups. Players, coaches and referees are offered green credentials, while yellow and blue credentials are provided to reporters and staff in the arena respectively. People in the green area cannot conduct any close contact with those having credentials in other colors.

CBA revealed that Zhao, who possesses a green credential, had close contact with people with yellow credentials in the hotel on Friday, resulting in his three-match ban and a fine of 10,000 yuan (around 1,400 U.S. dollars).

Zhao also has to undergo another COVID-19 test before getting permission to return to the green area.

Zhao played 33 games for Guangdong this season, averaging 13.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

Both the Guangdong club and Zhao apologized through social media following the league's decision.

"The club apologize for Zhao's violation, which is caused by the club's inadvertence in implementing the league's relevant regulations. We accept the punishment, learn lessons from it and will enforce the club management so as to ensure that it won't happen again," Guangdong Southeast Tigers said in a statement.

"I apologize to everyone and the team. It all comes from my inadvertence. I accept the punishment, and will carry out relevant measures in future matches to make sure that I won't make the same mistake," Zhao wrote on China's Twitter-like Weibo.