Baseball and basketball officials on Tuesday were scrambling to find evidence of match-fixing attempts in their professional leagues, following recent testimony by a gambling broker, who has been arrested for an alleged connection with volleyball match fixing, that other leagues also had match-rigging issues.
Prosecutors in Daegu, who are investigating a snowballing match-fixing scandal in the top pro volleyball circuit called V-League, have expanded their probe into baseball and basketball.
According to prosecutors, the arrested broker, surnamed Kim, said on Monday he heard about match-fixing schemes in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and the Korean Basketball League (KBL) games, from another broker surnamed Kang.
Kim has already been indicted for his role in football match fixing last year and received a four-year sentence in his first trial, prosecutors said. The broker named KBO ball clubs and active pitchers in his testimony, they added.
Baseball, basketball, football and volleyball are the country’s four major professional sports. Football’s K-League was rocked by its first match-fixing controversy last year, with dozens of active and former players indicted or found guilty. The V-League’s first scandal emerged earlier this month and four active players have received lifetime bans from the sport for their alleged roles.
The KBO and the KBL, which have never dealt with match-fixing allegations, reacted with surprise on Tuesday.
“We will check with individual clubs to see how, if any, match fixing has taken place,” a KBO official said. “But unless players report themselves, it will be difficult to find out just what has gone on.”