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NPB reinstates ex-Yomiuri pitcher previously suspended in gambling scandal

Kyosuke Takagi
Kyosuke Takagi has been reinstated by Nippon Professional Baseaball following a gambling scandal that resulted in his suspension (TBS News)

TOKYO (TR) – Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) announced on Monday that a former Yomiuri Giants pitcher, suspended following a gambling scandal, has been reinstated and will return to the Central League club, reports Nikkan Sports (Mar. 28).

Kyosuke Takagi, 27, was signed to a developmental contract by the club after it applied for his reinstatement on Thursday, the day after the expiration of his one-year ban.

The pitcher, who has a career record of 6-0 with a 3.03 earned-run average, issued an apology on Monday for his participation in the scandal before team executives and minor-league players at Yomiuri Giants Stadium in Kawasaki City.

“I will return to the Giants from today, and I will work on baseball seriously,” said Takagi, attired in a suit and tie. “I will work on baseball solely from now on so that I will not repeat the same mistakes.”

Takagi was one of four Yomiuri pitchers implicated in the scandal, which involved bets on games being funneled from players to a bookmaker tied to organized crime members, according to a previous report.

Takagi was suspended by NPB for one year beginning on March 22, 2016. He was ordered to pay a fine of 200,000 yen by the Tokyo Summary Court in August.

Members of an NPB panel met with the pitcher prior to his reinstatement. Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki said that he had received sufficient evidence indicating that Takagi was ready to put gambling behind him. “After careful consideration, via our investigation, we decided that reinstatement is just,” the commissioner said, according to NHK (Mar. 27).