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Five short track speed skaters charged with illegal gambling

All Headlines 15:12 April 07, 2016

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- Five short track speed skaters have been charged with allegedly placing illegal bets on sports games online, the police said Thursday.

The Gyeonggi Bukbu Provincial Police Agency said they have booked without physical detention five short track speed skaters on charges of betting on sports games on illegal websites regularly last year. The police said that three of them finished in the top eight in the second round of the short track speed skating national team qualification for the 2016-17 season, which ended on Sunday. One of the five skaters is a high school student, the police added.

Each skater allegedly placed bets up to 3 million won (US$2,600) on an illegal sports gambling website, according to the police. The police added that they could expand the investigation to other short track speed skaters.

The Korea Skating Union (KSU) said Thursday that it is stunned by the scandal and will come up with a punishment for the players while watching how the investigation result turns out.

"What's really a problem is that three skaters advanced to the third round national team qualification in September," an official from the KSU said on condition of anonymity. "We will think about the punishment, including their disqualification, for the national team qualifiers."

The official said that the KSU will look into how athletes in other sports were punished after they were charged with illegal gambling.

The only legal form of sports betting in South Korea is through purchasing Sports Toto lottery tickets, which is also available online. Sports Toto offers odds on wins, ties, losses and final scores.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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