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Pro baseball pitcher under investigation in connection with illegal gambling site

All News 17:59 July 20, 2016

DAEGU, July 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korean baseball pitcher An Ji-man is under investigation in connection with an illegal gambling website, prosecutors here said Wednesday.

The district prosecutors' office in Daegu, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, said An was recently summoned for questioning over allegations that he had helped a friend launch an illegal gambling site.

An plays for the Daegu-based Samsung Lions in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

Prosecutors believe An financed the illegal gambling operation, but the player countered that he only lent his friend some money to help him open a restaurant.

The Lions took him off their active roster on Monday, citing his shoulder pains.

An is facing a separate gambling investigation. He and his teammate, Yun Sung-hwan, faced police questioning in Seoul early last month for illegal overseas gambling charges, which first surfaced last fall.

Once one of the KBO's most reliable setup men, An has struggled mightily this year, going 2-5 with a 5.79 ERA -- his worst since 2009 -- in 31 appearances.

Two other South Korean pitchers, Lim Chang-yong and Oh Seung-hwan, were indicted and fined for similar charges in January. Lim, who pitched for the Lions over the past two years, was released by the club in light of the court decision, and has since joined another KBO club, the Kia Tigers.

Oh, who pitched for the Lions from 2005 to 2013 and for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan from 2014 to 2015, is now pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals in Major League Baseball.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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