Jung Ho Kang agrees to enter alcohol treatment program

Jung Ho Kang will enter an alcohol treatment program following his third DUI arrest. (Getty Images)
Jung Ho Kang will enter an alcohol treatment program following his third DUI arrest. (Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang has agreed to participate in an alcohol treatment program, his agent Alan Nero told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Saturday. A joint panel headed by MLB recommended that Kang enter the program following his third DUI arrest on Dec. 2.

The report did not include a formal statement from Kang or his agent. It does include details of the process MLB has in place for DUIs and other alcohol related violations, while noting why it’s beneficial for Kang to enter the program.

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The most recent collective bargaining agreement, which expired in December, mandated an appearance before a joint treatment board when “a Player is arrested or charged by law enforcement authorities with driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol, or any other criminal violation relating to the use of alcohol.” The program is not believed to have changed in the new CBA.

Participation in any recommended treatment program is voluntary, and declining to participate will not result in discipline, but “The Player’s participation in any Treatment Program shall be considered as a mitigating factor in any discipline imposed by either the Club or the Office of the Commissioner.”

Kang’s third and most recent DUI arrest came after he left the scene of a DUI accident after crashing into a guard rail in Seoul, South Korea. All three of Kang’s arrests have come in his home country, leading to his license being revoked.

Kang has been awaiting word on a possible indictment in South Korea. Neither MLB nor the Pirates have issued a formal punishment yet, but he was removed from South Korea’s World Baseball Classic roster. The Pirates were still expecting him to arrive in time for spring training as recently as Monday.

“Still working through the process,” general manager Neal Huntington told the media on Monday. “The expectation is that [Kang] will arrive and be ready to go. But until that happens, there’s always a chance that we could hit a snag.”

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The snag could be Kang’s decision to enter the alcohol treatment program, though there’s no word now this decision might impact his preparation.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!