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Taiwan’s SBL basketball league rocked by game-fixing scandal

Yulon Luxgen Dinos found to have players throwing games due to gambling interests as investigation spreads

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Fifteen individuals have been charged with match-fixing and betting on SBL basketball games. Ex-Luxgen Dinos player Ko Min-hao was questioned abo...

Fifteen individuals have been charged with match-fixing and betting on SBL basketball games. Ex-Luxgen Dinos player Ko Min-hao was questioned abo...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s semi-professional Super Basketball League (SBL) finds itself in a widening game-fixing crisis that is threatening the credibility of the league.

According to a statement by the governing body of the league, the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), players from the Yulon Luxgen Dinos and one player from the Taiwan Beer Leopards of the professional T1 League have had their registration revoked and have been given lifetime bans, per FTV.

The list of banned Yulon Luxgen Dino players includes Ko Min-hao (柯旻豪), Chiu Chung-po (邱忠博), Chen Pin-chuan (陳品銓), Huang Hsuan-min (黃鉉閔), Wu Yu-jen (吳祐任), Chou Wei-chen (周暐宸), Yen Wen-tso (顏聞佐), Lee Chi-en (李其恩), and Senegalese center Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Sarr. The former Taiwan Beer Leopards player is Lo Chen-feng (羅振峰).

While only players from Yulon Luxgen Dinos and Taiwan Beer Leopards have been given lifetime bans so far, the investigation may spread to Bank of Taiwan, Taiwan Beer, and Changhua BLL. Prosecutors also did not rule out launching a second wave of search warrants and investigations before the start of the SBL season.

The game-fixing investigation began with Yulon Luxgen Dino star Wu Chi-ying (吳季穎), who was brought in for questioning by the Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office on Oct. 18. Wu was found to be cooperating with underground groups to engage in game-fixing and betting. Wu's mobile phone revealed that nine players and four other team-related individuals were involved.

According to the Sports Lottery Management Act, Article 21, individuals illegally interfering in sports competitions that are subject to betting shall be sentenced to no less than one year but not more than seven years and may be concurrently fined not less than NT$10 million (US$300,000) and not more than NT$30 million.

Furthermore, if three or more people work together as a gang to commit the crime, the penalty will be increased to not less than three years but not more than 10 years, and a fine of not less than NT$20 million but not more than NT$50 million.

Former Yulon Luxgen Dinos player Ko Min-hao (柯旻豪) was detained and held incommunicado by the Shilin District Court beginning on Saturday (Nov. 18). Meanwhile, eight other Yulon Luxgen Dinos players were released on bail after questioning.