February 22, 2017 13:18
More bad news came Tuesday for the Korean national baseball team's prospects in the World Baseball Classic, which is just two weeks away.
Veteran pitcher Lim Chang-yong of the Kia Tigers was involved in a traffic accident without a driving license during the team's training in Okinawa, Japan.
The Korea Baseball Organization told reporters that Lim drove the car of an acquaintance after training on Friday last week and pulled over near a crossing in central Naha.
The friend, who was sitting in the passenger seat, opened the door trying to get out to buy a bottle of water and hit a passing motorcycle. Although the accident was caused by Lim's friend, the car pulled over in a no-halt zone, so Lim bears some of the responsibility. During the police investigation, it emerged that Lim's Japanese driving license had expired.
If Lim is found guilty of serious illegality the KBO will take disciplinary action. "I am very sorry to fellow baseball players and I apologize to the fans too," said Lim.
In 2015, Lim was fined for illegal overseas gambling, which led to his firing from the Samsung Lions at the end of the season. He was traded to the Kia Tigers but had to sit out 72 games as he was banned half of the regular season by the KBO.
Korean players left for Okinawa on Feb. 12 for training and friendlies and return on Thursday. They will then train at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, the venue for the first round of the WBC.
Korea faces Israel on March 6, the Netherlands on March 7, and Taiwan on March 9 in the first round.
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