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Pro sports players indicted en masse on match-fixing charges

All Headlines 16:08 March 14, 2012

DAEGU, March 14 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors in Daegu said Wednesday they have indicted 27 professional baseball and volleyball players, gamblers and gambling brokers on charges of rigging matches in search of gambling dividends.

The indictees include two players from the Seoul-based LG Twins professional baseball team and 12 male and female volleyball players, either active or retired, the Daegu District Prosecutors' Office said.

The prosecution took the measure, wrapping up their two months of game-fixing investigation, which rocked sports fans and the sports industry.

Besides them, four more volleyball players for the military athletes' team were also indicted on gaming-rigging charges by military prosectors, the Daegu office also said in a statement.

Of the players indicted by the Daegu prosecution, 11 people, including LG Twins pitcher Kim Seong-hyun and three other volleyball players, were kept under physical detention, prosecutors said. The LG Twins earlier dismissed the two players from the team over the suspected game rigging.

Investigators said 17 men's league volleyball matches for the 2009-2010 season and 2010-2011 season were fixed with one women's league volleyball game rigged during the 2010-2011 season.

The players allegedly received up to 5 million won (US$4,442) from the brokers for every game they fixed by purposely underperforming.

The arrested baseball pitcher Kim took a total of 7 million won in return for fixing three matches while his teammate Park Hyun-joon received 5 million won for helping fix two games, according to prosecutors.

As a starter pitcher, Kim deliberately gave a walk in the first inning as a way of fixing baseball games, whose results are usually harder than other sports to manipulate, the prosecutors said.

They said the two baseball players exchanged several phone calls between them in a bid to destroy or manipulate evidence.

"The latest investigation verified for the first time the wild rumors over match fixing in the pro-volleyball and baseball leagues," said prosecutor Park Eun-seok. "It is seen as a major warning to professional players' serious moral laxity."

pbr@yna.co.kr
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