Olympic champion Oh Seung-Hwan is one of two players to have been sanctioned for gambling ©Getty Images

Two South Korean baseball players have been handed half-season bans for breaking the country's gambling laws.

Oh Seung-hwan, a pitcher who has signed a contract with Major League Baseball (MLB) outfit St Louis Cardinals, and free agent Lim Chang-yong, another pitcher, were each found to have bet KRW40 million (£23,000/$33,000/€30,000) in Macau in November 2014.

Macau, as a special administrative region of China, lies outside of South Korean territory but the country's law allows prosecution of those who gamble overseas as well as at home.

The pair were both handed a half-season, or 72-game, ban from appearing in tournaments organised by the Korea Baseball Organziation, the country's major governing body.

They were also fined KRW10 million (£6,000/$8,000/€7,500) by a court in capital Seoul.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the court determined that the gambling was not habitual and was "a one-time event".

Lim Chang-yong has previously represented MLB's Chicago Cubs
Lim Chang-yong has previously represented MLB's Chicago Cubs ©Getty Images

Oh, a 33-year-old relief pitcher, was a member of South Korea's gold medal winning team at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, when the sport was last a part of the Games.

He also has an Asian Games bronze medal from Doha in 2006.

Thirty-nine-year-old Lim, meanwhile, who has played in the MLB with Chicago Cubs, won an Olympic bronze medal at the Sydney 2000 Games.

Due to their triumph in Beijing, South Korea remain as the defending Olympic champions in men's baseball.

The sport, along with softball, was removed from the programme by the International Olympic Committee in July 2005, but looks set to return at Tokyo 2020 where organisers have suggested adding it to the programme.