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(LEAD) Baseball pitcher faces indictment over match-fixing allegations

All News 22:34 July 20, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS details, background)

SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean baseball pitcher is facing indictment over match-fixing allegations, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, some 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul, said Lee Tae-yang, who pitches for the NC Dinos in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), allegedly received at least 10 million won ($US8,770) from a gambling broker to fix games.

Prosecutors said Lee may be indicted as early as Thursday. He is accused of deliberately pitching walks in certain innings.

Prosecutors said another KBO player, whose identity is being withheld, was also allegedly involved in fixing schemes.

The Dinos acknowledged that Lee first faced questioning in late June, and their President Lee Tai-il issued an apology, saying he'll take steps to prevent a recurrence of similar cases.

"We will ask the KBO to authorize termination of (Lee's) contract," Lee added. "We'll also accept any KBO punishment for our lack of oversight."

Lee Tae-yang, 23, is a six-year pro for the Dinos, which are based in Changwon. He won a career-high 10 games last year and has gone 2-2 with a 4.21 ERA in 10 appearances this season.

The Dinos took him off their active roster on June 28, citing elbow pain, but admitted on Wednesday they made the move to cooperate with the prosecutors' investigation.
Lee last pitched on June 24.

The Dinos joined the KBO in 2013, and made the postseason the past two years straight. They are in second place in the 10-team league this year at 48-29-2 (wins-losses-ties), 4.5 games behind the Doosan Bears.

The KBO is about four years removed from its first match-fixing scandal. Two pitchers for the LG Twins, Park Hyun-joon and Kim Sung-hyun, received suspended jail terms and fines for their roles in fixing, and the KBO slapped them with lifetime bans.

The KBO said it was recently notified by the Dinos of the ongoing investigation and it had been monitoring its progress.

Under the KBO rule, a player who engages in match fixing may be placed on the "disqualified" list. Such a player is also banned from playing in the United States, Japan and Taiwan under the terms of the KBO's player contract agreements with professional leagues in those countries.


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