Korean Baseball Organization Suspends Choi Jin Haeng for 30 Games in Doping Case

luvsmiling, June 25, 2015, 9:42 a.m.

A South Korean baseball player has been banned for 30 games for failing a drug test, the country's top league announced on Thursday. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Choi Jin-haeng of the Hanwha Eagles tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Choi, who was batting .301 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs, attended a doping hearing earlier Thursday. Informed sources said Choi explained that he had taken a dietary supplement on a friend's recommendation but didn't know it had contained any banned substances. The Eagles were also fined 20 million won (US$18,000) for their lack of oversight.

According to experts, stanozolol can help athletes build muscle mass, boost acceleration and recover faster from workouts and injuries. When former Major League Baseball All-Star Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for a banned substance in 2005, reports claimed it was for stanozolol.

The KBO randomly selected five South Korean players from each of the 10 clubs for tests last month. The league subjects all foreign players to drug tests, and in May, all 31 of them came out clean in the mandatory procedure.

Choi, a 29-year-old outfielder, was enjoying a bounce-back for the upstart Eagles. He already has one more home run than in 2014, and is sitting three shy of the 45 RBIs he drove in last year.

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