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Samsung Lions in dilemma over pitchers facing gambling charges

All Headlines 16:20 March 14, 2016

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean baseball club Samsung Lions have a dilemma over using two of their pitchers facing gambling charges, as the police investigation drags on.

Starter Yun Sung-hwan and reliever An Ji-man first faced charges last fall, and they, along with a third Samsung pitcher, Lim Chang-yong, were left off the Lions' roster for the Korean Series, the championship final for the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

Lim has since been released by the Lions and was fined for his charges. However, police said Monday they are not close to wrapping up their investigation into Yun and An's charges of illegal overseas gambling.

"We will need testimonies from people who ran gambling houses but they're still at large," one official at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said on Monday. "We've secured some information on bank accounts and phone records (for the two pitchers) but we are pressing on to determine more specific charges."

Both Yun and An have claimed innocence.

According to manager Ryu Joong-il, both pitchers are ready to take the mound during the ongoing preseason. Yet the club has yet to determine when -- or if -- they will make an appearance.

The Lions may want to operate under the presumption of innocence, with neither pitcher having been convicted, and benching them could be seen as a way of punishing the players for crimes they haven't been convicted of committing.

On the other hand, at least in the court of public opinion, Yun and An have no business playing baseball until suspicions are cleared.

Both were integral parts of the 2015 Lions team that clinched the franchise's fifth consecutive pennant. Yun led the club with 17 wins, and An picked up 37 holds while going 4-3 with a 3.33 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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