Amid allegations that some members of the Korean National Team consumed alcohol during the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March, Kim Kwang-hyun (35-SSG Landers), Lee Yong-chan (34-NC Dinos), and Jung Chul-won (24-Dusan Bears) have expressed their remorse.
Kim Kwang-hyun apologized through his club ahead of a home game against the Samsung Lions at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on January 1, while Lee Yong-chan and Jeong Chul-won apologized through their respective clubs for their recently reported drinking incidents at the Doosan Bears-NC Dinos game (which was canceled due to rain) scheduled for the same day at Changwon NC Park.
On March 30, a media outlet reported, “Based on further investigation based on a YouTube channel broadcast, it was confirmed that three top pitchers who serve as starting or bullpen aces for their respective clubs went in and out of a bar in Akasaka, Tokyo, between the night of March 8 and the early morning hours of March 11.” The players’ names were not revealed.스포츠토토
The players’ real names were not revealed, but certain names were mentioned in the baseball world. The real names of the three players were revealed when they appeared before the media before the first day’s game.
Kim Kwang-hyun: “As a veteran, I regret that I didn’t think fast enough and didn’t control myself”
“I’m here in front of the media and fans to apologize for my behavior during the WBC,” Kim Kwang-hyun said, bowing his head. “I would like to express my sincere apologies to all fans, media, and baseball players who love baseball for acting without thinking during the national tournament for whatever reason. As a veteran of the team, I regret that my thoughts were very short and I was not able to control myself,” he said.
“I will continue to work diligently on the KBO investigation and humbly accept the results, and I will use this opportunity to reflect deeply so that I will never disappoint all those who love baseball again,” he said. He concluded by saying, “I sincerely apologize to the fans, media, and baseball officials who love and support baseball for the great disappointment caused by my unsavory behavior.”
Lee Yong-chan “Used a bar with an acquaintance immediately after the Korea-Japan game, and will humbly accept the KBO’s decision”
“First of all, I apologize for the disappointment I caused to the fans who supported me as a national team member and to all the people involved,” Yong-chan reflected.
“During the tournament, on the day before the rest day (March 10), I had dinner with an acquaintance at a Korean restaurant in Tokyo, then went to a nearby bar and stayed for about two hours before returning home,” he said. “I am deeply sorry for drinking alcohol during the international tournament, regardless of the reason,” he added.
Finally, Yong-chan said, “I will faithfully respond to the KBO’s procedures in the future and humbly accept the results,” adding, “I will act more carefully as a professional player in the future.”
Chung Chul-won “It’s true that I drank alcohol, but the woman was nowhere near me”
Chung, who also issued an apology on the same day, said, “I had a drink with my brother (Kim Kwang-hyun) after the game against Japan on March 10 during the WBC.” He added, “I sincerely apologize for my shameful behavior at a time when many people are disappointed with the national team’s poor performance. It was an inexcusable and frivolous behavior.”
“I am ashamed of myself,” Chung said, adding, “I should have acted more responsibly as I was awarded the honor of the Taekwondo Mark, but I violated the expectations and trust of the fans.” “I will do my best to cooperate with the KBO investigation, and I will accept any punishment or reprimand that comes my way,” he said.
However, Chung denied the “hiring a hostess” theory, saying, “It’s true that I drank alcohol after the game against Japan, but there were never any women around.
SSG ‘expunges Kim Kwang-hyun’, NC-Dusan ‘accompanies first-team entry’, KBO ‘starts investigation’
Initially, Kim Kwang-hyun had been selected as the starting pitcher for the game against Samsung, but the day before, left-hander Baek Seung-geon (23) was named in the starting lineup instead of Kim Kwang-hyun. SSG then issued an “extremely weak prescription” to remove Kwang-hyun from the first-team roster ahead of the game.
However, NC and Doosan kept Lee Yong-chan and Jeong Chul-won on their first-team rosters, respectively. For now, NC will not make any roster adjustments and will keep Lee Yong-chan in the first team. Doosan also plans to follow up with the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
The KBO began investigating the incident on the morning of March 31, the day after it was reported. A KBO official said, “Regarding the late-night drinking of national players during the WBC tournament, we started an individual investigation immediately after the end of the game on the 30th,” adding, “At 9 a.m. on the 31st, we held a meeting with the governor, secretary general, and relevant departments. As a result of the meeting, each player was presented with a statement of reasons and the facts were clarified accordingly, and if there were any violations of the national team’s operating regulations, a punishment committee will be held.”
The KBO does not have a clear policy on how to punish players for drinking during the national team’s call-up period. However, it could be a violation of the KBO’s national team obligations, which require players to comprehensively protect their honor and dignity while representing their country. Article 13 [Discipline] of the KBO’s National Team Operating Regulations states, “A disciplinary committee shall be held for those who cause social disorder.
Even if, as the players say, they did not drink before the game and drank in a place where there were no hosts, the fallout will be difficult to overcome. At the WBC, the Korean team did everything they could to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in 14 years, but dropped the most important games against Australia (7-8) and Japan (4-13), ultimately falling in the first round for the third straight tournament. Add to that the revelation that the team had been drinking during the tournament, and you have a recipe for fan criticism.