Wed, Dec 18, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Game-fixing offer a lie: CPBL

Staff writer, with CNA

An Australian player’s claim that he was approached with an offer to fix a game of the Asia Series held in Taiwan last month was a “fabricated lie,” the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) said on Monday as it announced the result of its probe into the allegation.

The CPBL is demanding an apology from the Australian Baseball League (ABL).

Catcher Matt Blazynski’s claim that the Canberra Cavalry were asked to throw the Asia Series semi-final was “a fabrication without a thread of truth” and the Canberra Times report that broke the story on Nov. 23 was “not based on fact,” the CPBL said in a statement.

“The lie and the article caused extremely serious damage to the 2013 Asia Series, the CPBL, baseball fans and those who work in baseball in Taiwan,” it added.

The Taiwanese league demanded in a letter that its Australian counterpart write a note apologizing for the allegation and publish it in the Canberra Times to clarify the matter.

Copies of the letter sent to the ABL were sent to its counterparts in Japan, South Korea and Europe, which also participated in the six-team tournament held from Nov. 15 to Nov. 20.

The CPBL said that until its demands are met, it will suspend cooperation and exchange activities with the Australian division.

Blazynski, who did not play in the series, told the Canberra Times that he had been approached at a bar in Greater Taichung on Nov. 17, the eve of the semi-final between the Cavalry and the Samsung Lions of South Korea, and was offered US$30,000 to help lose the game by at least seven runs.

Blazynski referred the matter to Cavalry coaches, who passed it up the chain, resulting in the officials in charge of the Asia Series contacting police, the paper reported.

The Cavalry beat the Lions 9-5 and went on to win the championship by routing the Uni-President Lions 14-4.

During its investigation into the match-fixing claim, the CPBL reviewed a closed-circuit TV recording of Blazynski at the bar, called Simba, which it said showed that it was he who had struck up a conversation with two local men and a woman.

According to the footage, no money was produced during the encounter, the Taiwanese league said.

In its statement, the CPBL also criticized Blazynski for refusing to cooperate with its investigation during a video conference arranged with the ABL’s assistance on Dec. 6.

“He was evasive and unwilling to fully cooperate with the CPBL’s request for a legal investigation or even provide his cellphone number,” it said.

CPBL president Huang Cheng-tai declined to respond to requests for comment, referring reporters to his administration’s statement.

CPBL deputy secretary-general Wang Hui-min said that the result of the probe was based on information gathered through the league’s anti-gambling mechanism.

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