More disappointment than grades… Is ‘WBC drinking’ discipline appropriate?

The players who caused a national drinking scandal have been fined and given community service.

On the 7th, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) held a punishment committee for Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG), Lee Yong-chan (NC), and Jeong Chul-won (Doosan), who caused controversy with their drinking during the World Baseball Classic (WBC), and decided to punish Kim Kwang-hyun with 80 hours of community service and a fine of 5 million won, and Lee Yong-chan and Jeong Chul-won with 40 hours of community service and a fine of 3 million won, respectively.스포츠토토

The three, who competed for the national team at the WBC in Tokyo, Japan, in March, were involved in a controversy when it was revealed that they had been drinking late at night during the tournament. All three apologised on the 1st and have been removed from the team’s roster.

The KBO Investigation Committee has since received letters of explanation from the three players and conducted a face-to-face investigation. The manager of the restaurant was also contacted by phone to confirm the time and date of entry, payment, and the presence of employees. The players also submitted credit card details to prove their movements in Tokyo.

The KBO initially concluded that the “pre-game drinking” reported by YouTubers and related online media was not true. “We have confirmed that the players visited the bars on 7 and 11 March during the official period of the tournament, from 7 March when they arrived in Tokyo to 13 March when they played the final game against China,” the KBO said.

The players arrived in Tokyo on 7 March after travelling from an official practice game in Osaka. They played Australia on the 9th, Japan on the 10th, Czech Republic on the 12th, and China on the 13th. Kim Kwang-hyun visited the business at midnight on the 7th and at dawn on the 11th, after the team finished playing Japan. Jung Chul-won accompanied Kwang-hyun on the 11th, and Lee Yong-chan also visited on the 11th, although separately from the two. As a result, Kim Kwang-hyun, who visited twice, received twice as many community service hours and fines as Chung and Yong-chan.

The KBO based the punishment on Article 151 of the league’s bylaws, “Impairment of Dignity,” rather than the national team rules. “There is a provision in the national team rules that allows us to discipline players in the league for what happened during the national team call-up, even if the call-up is over,” the KBO explained. Some baseball fans have criticised the lack of a suspension as weak discipline.

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