The Korea Baseball Organization on Wednesday suspended two players facing sexual assault allegations without pay, effective immediately.
Earlier in the day, police in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, said two teammates for the Seoul-based Nexen Heroes are under investigation on suspicions of sexually assaulting a woman at an Incheon hotel. The Heroes are visiting Incheon for a three-game road series against the SK Wyverns that began Tuesday.
Police initially withheld the identities of the accused players, but the Heroes issued a press release later Wednesday saying pitcher Cho Sang-woo and catcher Park Dong-won are under investigation and have been taken off the team's active roster. The club said it will fully cooperate with the authorities.
This undated file photo provided by the Korea Baseball Organization shows the KBO`s headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)
According to the Heroes, the two players denied the allegations and told police that there was no use of force or violence against the woman.
The KBO also took swift action on the two players, citing the KBO Rules, Article 152, Clause 5, which states that the KBO commissioner may suspend players who have allegedly engaged in illegal acts or caused injury to dignity, and who may be unable to play during an investigation into their alleged acts.
The KBO said it will decide whether to reinstate the two or extend their suspension depending on the results of the police investigation. The two players are prohibited from taking part in any baseball-related activities, including practices.
Cho, 23, is the Heroes' closer. He is 1-2 with nine saves and a 3.79 ERA in 18 appearances this year. Park, 28, is batting .248 with six home runs and 17 RBIs as the team's starting catcher. (Yonhap)