Player in focus : Choi Jin-haeng (Hanwha Eagles)Choi Jin-haeng was probably Korean baseball’s most controversial player last week. On Wednesday against the KT Wiz in Suwon, Gyeonggi, the left-fielder returned to the diamond for the first time in 50 days after he was given a 30-game suspension by the KBO for illegal substance use.
Choi, who turned on 30 on Monday, tested positive for stanozolol, a type of synthetic anabolic steroid classified as a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
In his first game since the doping suspension, Choi went 2-for-2 with 4 RBIs, including a two-run shot in his first bat. Before appearing at the bat, Choi took off his helmet and bowed to fans for his doping scandal. While Eagles fans welcomed him, others wondered whether Choi’s explosive batting was the result of drugs.
Interestingly, Choi did take some medicine after the Wednesday game. After the third inning, he was replaced by Cho In-sung, citing a headache.
However, Choi’s hot performance was only against the Wiz. In the last four games, he went just 2-for-15, while suffering seven strikeouts. In particular, in a game against the Samsung Lions on Sunday, he had no hits in his four at-bats, while getting three strikeouts.
BY JOO KYUNG-DON [firstname.lastname@example.org]