South Korean baseball club Doosan Bears has asked the league office to suspend two minor league players, pitcher Jeong Hyun-wook and catcher Kwon Ki-young.
Jeong reportedly purchased Sports Toto lottery tickets and Kwon gambled on an illegal betting website.
Sports Toto is the only sports betting allowed in South Korea; however, Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) players are not allowed to buy sports betting tickets: “players, coaches, and executives and employees of sports organisations should not purchase or mediate sports promotion voting rights.”
Any other form of gambling is also prohibited, with KBO promising to cooperate with any investigation by the authorities.
The baseball club said: “In the process of interviewing with Jeong Hyun-wook, who recently had a personal debt problem, he confirmed that he played sports Toto, which is forbidden by athletes. Kwon Ki-young also accessed inappropriate speculative sites in the process of conducting a thorough investigation of the entire team. And reported it to the KBO Clean Baseball Center.”
If KBO decides to suspend the players, they will not be allowed to play in a professional capacity until the KBO lifts the restrictions.
Based on the league’s rules, first-time offenders will be suspended for a minimum of 50 games; they will have to complete 120 hours of community service and pay a fine of KRW5m ($4,560).
A second violation will increase the fine and the number of suspended games, while the third offence will result in a lifetime ban.