Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang had a suspended two-year prison sentence upheld in a South Korean court Thursday, which will further complicate his efforts to rejoin the MLB team during the 2017 season.
The Associated Press (via USA Today) reported the Seoul Central District Court denied Kang’s appeal after he asked for a reduction in punishment. The conviction on fleeing the scene of a crash and driving while drunk has prevented him from re-entering the U.S. based on visa issues.
In December, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported it was the third DUI-related issue involving Kang since 2009. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington admitted the team was unaware of the previous arrests before signing the infielder in 2015.
Even if Kang obtains permission from South Korea to travel to the Unites States to play baseball, it is unclear whether the United States will grant him entry given the current administration’s tougher stance on visas.