The Yakult Swallows have refused to release South Korean closer Lim Chang Yong to play for his country at the Beijing Olympics, senior Yakult official Kesanori Kurashima said Friday.
''We were gladly willing to have Lim go to the Olympics, but then we had the unexpected doping test failure by Daniel Rios, making it difficult for us to release him,'' Kurashima said. ''Lim has agreed to our decision.''
Last week, Yakult announced the release of Rios after the right-handed starter was handed a one-year suspension for failing a drug test.
Yakult has informed the Korea Baseball Organization of its decision.
Lim joined Yakult this season on a two-year, $800,000 deal with a club option for a third year after posting a 104-66 career record with 168 saves in South Korea. He has earned 19 saves and had a 2.17 ERA as of Thursday.