3 Yomiuri Giants pitchers banned for gambling on baseball

TOKYO (AP) Nippon Professional Baseball has banned three Yomiuri Giants pitchers indefinitely after they were found to have bet on baseball games.

NPB commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki announced the decision on Tuesday.

Professional players in Japan can be banned for a definite period, indefinitely or permanently. NPB's charter stipulates indefinite bans can be lifted by the commissioner after five years if a player appeals after maintaining good conduct.

Yomiuri pitchers Satoshi Fukuda, Shoki Kasahara and Ryuya Matsumoto all admitted to betting on games during questioning by police. The three were not involved in any game-fixing or betting on their own team.

The Giants said they have terminated the contracts of the three players. Gambling on sports is illegal in Japan and is a violation of NPB's charter.