The ‘drinking scandal’ that rocked the baseball world has come to a conclusion. The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) held a punishment committee meeting on Sunday and announced disciplinary actions against Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG), Chung Chul-won (Doosan), and Lee Yong-chan (NC), who were caught up in a controversy over drinking at a bar during the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
The KBO imposed 80 hours of community service and a fine of 5 million won on Kim Kwang-hyun, who visited the bar twice, and 40 hours of community service and a fine of 3 million won on Lee Yong-chan and Chung Chul-won, who visited the bar once.
The initial allegations of drinking on the eve of the game and the presence of female waitresses were not confirmed, according to a statement from the penalty committee. The core allegation is “drinking during the national team call-up. While this is not a “disgraceful act” as defined in Article 151 of the Code, the Disciplinary Committee considered it to be a case of “causing social harm” and decided to impose discipline in line with other examples 먹튀검증 (gambling, violence, drugs, drunk driving, etc.). Since this was not a specified level of punishment, the “cotton bat” punishment was controversial.
It was argued that the mere fact that the players had been drinking during the team’s convocation, if not the day before the game, exposed their unhealthy mindset. It took a week for the team to arrive in Tokyo for their final group game against China. With their first-round exit virtually assured after a disastrous performance, it’s a shame they couldn’t hang on for the few remaining days.
The venue was a nightclub. Even if there were no female waitresses, I wonder if it was necessary to go there, as the old saying goes, ‘Don’t tie yourself up under the oak tree’. If it was a drink to drown out the anger of the crushing defeat against Japan, it could have been done in the dormitory with beer from a convenience store.
There’s a message here that players shouldn’t lose sight of in the debate over discipline. If nothing else, it shows that fans want to see a stronger sense of mission from players traveling to international tournaments, as the competitiveness of Korean baseball continues to be criticized.