Mark Allen was left contemplating a ban from snooker as officials confirmed they would take disciplinary action after he accused Chinese players of cheating.
Allen, beaten in the first round of the World Championship by China's Cao Yupeng, was adamant Cao should have called a foul against himself in the opening frame of Sunday's session when the Chinese, who won 10-6, was just 5-4 ahead.
The Northern Irishman then risked further controversy by saying: "It seems to be a bit of a trait for the Chinese players because there've been instances in the past, of fouls and blatant cheating going on. It needs to be corrected."
China is seen as a huge growth area for snooker.
But Allen has already angered Chinese snooker chiefs, saying Hainan, the island venue for the World Open, was "horrendous" and the people "ignorant".
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) confirmed Tuesday that Allen would face disciplinary action, with chairman Jason Ferguson saying the governing body took "very seriously comments made which could be perceived to be directed at a particular nation".
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn added: "To effectively accuse your opponent of cheating is looked on as bringing the game into disrepute.
"Time and time again Mark seems unable to control himself in his public statements. Sometimes I am speechless."
Earlier Hearn, who has himself felt the rough edge of Allen's tongue this season, urged officials to take the comments seriously, saying they risked the livelihoods of his fellow professionals.
"This is a very good time to be a snooker player," Hearn said. "It's not a good time to be an idiot."
Back on the tables, Ronnie O'Sullivan made light of a potentially awkward match to beat fellow English former world champion Peter Ebdon 10-4.
In 2005, O'Sullivan lost to Ebdon in the quarter-finals when, having been 8-2 up, he went down 13-11.
But there were no such dramas this year for O'Sullivan, 7-2 up overnight.
China's Ding Junhui moved into a narrow 3-2 lead in the early stages of his first round match against Wales' Ryan Day here on Tuesday thanks to a break of exactly 100 in the fifth frame.
However, Day recovered for a 5-4 first session lead with Judd Trump, last year's beaten finalist, ahead by the same scoreline after falling 3-1 behind to Wales's Dominic Dale.
Trump, who won the UK Championship in December to claim snooker's second most important title, was understood to be suffering from food poisoning Tuesday and looked off his game.© ANP/AFP