The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) held a punishment committee on March 7 and decided to discipline three members of the national baseball team for their controversial drinking behavior during the WBC, based on Article 151 of the KBO’s rules, which states that a player may not be allowed to drink alcohol.
Kim Kwang-hyun was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and a sanction of 5 million won ($4,000) after it was confirmed that he entered an entertainment bar on two occasions, on March 7, the day he traveled from Osaka to Tokyo, and on March 11, right after the Japan game. Chung Chul-won, who drank with Kim Kwang-hyun on March 11, and Lee Yong-chan, who visited the same bar with an acquaintance on the same day, each received 40 hours of community service and a sanction of 3 million won.
The controversy began on May 30 with reports from a YouTube channel and online media. During the first round of the 2023 WBC in Japan in March, it was reported that some members of the national team had spent the night drinking at a brothel. The KBO immediately launched an investigation into the allegations and received letters of explanation from the players. After conducting its own investigation, the KBO confirmed that Kim Kwang-hyun drank alcohol on two occasions and Jung Chul-won and Lee Yong-chan on one occasion, and that the three players did not drink alcohol the night before the game.
The outcome of the punishment committee has sparked debate about the level of discipline. Some have argued that the punishment of community service and a fine, without a suspension or national team ban, is too lenient. Some argue that the punishment is a slap on the wrist, given that the players have disappointed baseball fans with repeated international failures and have been involved in a drinking controversy during the tournament. 메이저놀이터
On the other hand, some argue that the three players did not cause as much trouble as initially reported, and that it is overkill for adults who are responsible for their own behavior to be disciplined for drinking enough alcohol to not affect their performance on a rest day.
On the other hand, the drinking scandal was not the subject of an investigation like the 2021 quarantine violations, so the punishment committee did not hand down a severe punishment such as a suspension. The KBO apologized for the controversy and stated that it would further refine the national team rules to prevent recurrence.