Ohtani denies betting on sports, ‘shocked’ that interpreter stole money

Dodgers Star Shohei Ohtani Denies Allegations of Sports Betting: An Inside Look at the Scandal

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani addressed the media on Monday, denying allegations that he had bet on sports. Ohtani explained that his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, had stolen money from him and lied about it. This came after Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers due to media inquiries regarding wire transfers totaling at least $4.5 million from Ohtani’s bank account to a bookmaking operation under federal investigation.

Seated beside Will Ireton, the team’s manager of performance operations who was acting as interpreter, Ohtani expressed his shock and sadness at the betrayal. He stated that Mizuhara had been stealing money and spreading falsehoods about him. Ohtani referred to a document during his nearly 12-minute speech and did not take any questions from the media.

Despite ongoing investigations by MLB and federal prosecutors, Ohtani is expected to continue playing. The penalties for players involved in illegal sports betting activities are at the discretion of the commissioner. The last known case related to this issue was in 2015 when a player was fined, and Ohtani emphasized that he had never engaged in illegal betting.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts supported Ohtani’s decision to address the situation publicly, stating that it was the right thing to do. Roberts hoped that Ohtani’s public statement would bring further clarity to the situation. Ohtani, a two-time MVP, left the Los Angeles Angels in December to sign a historic $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers.

In his closing remarks, Ohtani reiterated his innocence, stating that he had never bet on sports or been involved in any illegal betting activities. He emphasized that he had not authorized anyone to place bets on his behalf and had never used a bookmaker for sports betting purposes.

The accusations against Mizuhara have sparked controversy within baseball as some fans question whether MLB has done enough to prevent illegal activities by players.

Due to legal concerns surrounding gambling activities related to professional athletes, there is limited information available regarding how many other players may be implicated in this investigation.

As such, it remains unclear how long Mizuhara will remain under investigation or whether any other individuals will face charges related to these allegations.

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