Thu, Nov 09, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Players deny game-fixing reports

DAMAGE DONE:The Chinese Professional Baseball League said the reports have hurt the league unnecessary, but it would cooperate with investigations

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Brothers Baseball Club’s Lin Chih-sheng cries at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Amid an ongoing scandal involving the Brothers Baseball Club, media reports yesterday alleged that several team members made contact with former players who have been charged with game fixing.

The accused players denied the allegations, saying they did not engage in any wrongdoing.

The Chinese-language weekly Next Magazine, Sanlih E-Television and other media outlets reported that the players who were released by the club on Monday were allegedly involved in sex offenses, questionable financial dealings, disciplinary problems and possible collusion in throwing games.

According to sources quoted by Next Magazine, Brothers executives were given information about the players’ activities by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office and the Central Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Club chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒) — scion of CTBC Financial Holding Co’s Koo family which owns the club — and team manager Liu Chih-wei (劉志威) benched the players involved in the allegations, then released seven of the nine after the playoffs.

The allegations concerned the team’s core lineup, led by the Chinese Professional Baseball League’s (CPBL) highest paid player, Lin Chih-sheng (林智勝), who was paid NT$1.2 million (US$39,752) per month, and other high-paid players, including power hitter Chiang Chih-hsien (蔣智賢), paid NT$440,000 a month; relief pitcher Chen Hung-wen (陳鴻文), paid NT$530,000 a month; catcher Cheng Ta-hung (鄭達鴻), paid NT$460,000 a month; outfielder Chang Cheng-wei (張正偉), paid NT$400,000 a month; and infielder Wang Sheng-wei (王勝偉), paid NT$380,000 a month.

Lin allegedly drank alcohol during games, led a clique that tried to oust US manager Cory Snyder, so former manager Wu Fu-lien (吳復連) could return, and remained in contact with people involved in underground betting, Next Magazine quoted sources as saying.

Chiang signed on to play in Australia with the Sydney Blue Sox after the Brothers axed him on Monday. Chiang was alleged to have been part of Lin’s clique, showed insubordination toward his coaches and had extramarital affairs with numerous women, the magazine said.

The club released Chen Hung-wen citing his declining form, saying that his performances did not suit the team’s needs.

The magazine also alleged he was involved in questionable financial dealings.

Cheng Ta-hung allegedly met with former Brothers star pitcher Tsao Chin-hui (曹錦輝) for a friendly get-together.

Tsao was charged over his involvement in a game-fixing scandal in 2007.

Sanlih E-Television said on a talk show that a source — reputedly an underground betting operator — alleged that Chiang and Chen Hung-wen were paid NT$10 million to lose a game this season.

However, the accusation was not supported by evidence and prosecutors said they did not investigate the claim.

Lin and Chen Hung-wen, accompanied by their agents and lawyers held a news conference yesterday, denied any wrongdoing and asserted they did not engage in match-fixing.

“I have not done anything to betray baseball,” Lin said, adding that they would both continue training.

Lin is set to play in Australia for the Brisbane Bandits in the coming season.

CPBL officials also released a statement dening the allegations that players had colluded with underground operators over match-fixing this season, and said they had not received any information from authorities about the matter.

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