TOKYO (TR) – The commissioner of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) said on Monday that a betting scandal by a Yomiuri Giants pitcher did not involve organized crime, reports Sports Hochi (Sep. 6).
“At this stage, no significant information on (gang involvement) has been received,” said commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki at a press conference in Minato Ward. “However, that does not mean we are not investigating (that aspect).”
According to the team, Satoshi Fukuda, 32, placed bets on the summer high school tournament and 20 major league and NPB games, including at least three that involved Yomiuri. He is believed to have lost a total of more than one million yen through the wagers.
The matter came to light on September 30 after an employee at an accounting firm approached the team about the gambling debts accrued by Fukuda, according to Nikkan Sports (Oct. 6). A subsequent internal investigation revealed that fellow pitcher Shoki Kasahara had introduced Fukuda to the employee.
Kumazaki said that a part of the ongoing investigation includes determining whether the accounting firm employee is a regular broker of wagers.
After being made aware of Fukuda’s betting, the team contacted the commissioner’s office as a part of the NPB legal mandate that prohibits gambling.
Fukuda has not appeared in any games this season for the Giants. Both Fukuda and Kasahara have been suspended by Yomiuri.
Yomiuri will begin the first stage of the Climax Series playoffs at Tokyo Dome on Saturday afternoon.