Kia Tigers Manager Suspended Amid Bribery Investigation

SEOUL – The Kia Tigers, a team in the Korea Baseball Organization, have suspended their manager, Kim Jong-kook, due to an ongoing investigation into allegations of bribery. The club announced the suspension on Sunday, following confirmation that Kim had been interrogated by prosecutors last Thursday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the team became aware of the investigation after Kim was questioned by authorities. The club then verified these developments in a meeting with Kim on Saturday. "I understand Kim is under investigation for allegations of accepting bribes," the official stated, noting that the league office has also been informed of the situation.

This development emerges as the Tigers were preparing to depart for spring training in Australia, scheduled to start just two days after the suspension was announced. In Kim's absence, bench coach Jin Kab-yong will oversee the training camp in Canberra.

Kim, who is 50 years old, has led the Tigers since the 2022 season. Under his leadership, the team recorded a 70-73-1 win-loss-tie record in his first year, reaching the wild card game but ultimately losing to the KT Wiz. The following season saw a slight improvement, with the team finishing just one game shy of the final postseason spot with a 73-69-2 record.

Before his managerial role, Kim spent 14 years as a player and a decade as a coach for the Tigers, embodying a long-standing association with the franchise. This incident marks another controversy for the team, following the dismissal of general manager Jang Jung-suk before the 2023 season over allegations of kickback demands during free agent negotiations.

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