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

DODGERS STAR SHOHEI OHTANI DENIES ALLEGATIONS OF SPORTS BETTING IN PRESS CONFERENCE

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani held a press conference on Monday to deny 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 allegations against Shohei Ohtani have cast a shadow over one of baseball’s brightest stars. However, it remains unclear whether these accusations will lead to any disciplinary action or if they will have any impact on his future with the Dodgers or Major League Baseball as a whole.

By Aiden Johnson

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