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South Korea probes spot-fixing claims

(Reuters) - South Korean prosecutors have gathered testimony regarding allegations of spot-fixing in professional baseball, local media reported Monday.

Prosecutors have widened their investigation into allegations of match-fixing in baseball against the backdrop of a government crackdown on corruption in sport.

A former college baseball player with the surname Kim, arrested last weekend over alleged ties to fixing, testified that the problem was more widespread than first suspected.

Senior prosecutor Park Eun-seok told Yonhap news agency: "Our basic policy is (to) stay focused on the allegations we have now.

"But if we obtain concrete evidence that points to additional fixing, we can broaden our investigation."

Kim was arrested on suspicion of introducing two active players in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), the nation's top baseball league, to a gambling broker.

Law officials had initially thought the betting ring had attempted to sway the outcome of five to six KBO games. A broker linked with Kim is also under arrest.

Illegal sports betting sites offer spot bets, offering odds on single plays.

Spot-fixing, which made headlines around the world in 2010 in cricket and resulted in the jailing of three Pakistan players, is usually far more difficult to detect.

A match-fixing scandal that tore through soccer's K-League last year, triggered a government threat to shut down the league altogether unless it cleaned up its act.

Meanwhile, similar allegations surfaced in South Korea's professional volleyball league earlier this month, forcing the government to declare a war on match-fixing.

(Reporting by Alastair Himmer; Editing by Peter Rutherford)