Shohei Ohtani Refutes Allegations of Sports Betting, Accuses Interpreter of Theft and Deception

Calista Alma
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March 26, 2024

Shohei Ohtani addressed the media at Dodger Stadium on Monday, vehemently denying any involvement in sports betting and asserting that his longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, had deceived and stolen millions from him.

Sitting alongside Will Ireton, the Dodgers’ manager of performance operations, Ohtani expressed his shock and sadness at Mizuhara’s actions, which led to his recent termination by the Dodgers. Ohtani recounted Mizuhara’s deception over the years, emphasizing that he was never knowingly part of any gambling activities.

Despite not divulging specifics about how Mizuhara allegedly stole his money to cover gambling debts, Ohtani adamantly stated that he had never placed bets on baseball or any other sports, nor had he facilitated gambling payments for anyone else.

Ohtani, who recently signed a record-breaking contract with the Dodgers, disclosed that he and Mizuhara had been close companions since his time with the Los Angeles Angels. However, news of Mizuhara’s gambling troubles emerged last week, prompting investigations by the IRS.

Mizuhara initially claimed that Ohtani had paid his gambling debts, but later retracted his statement, asserting that Ohtani was unaware of the situation. Ohtani refuted Mizuhara’s claims, labeling them as outright lies.

The revelation of Mizuhara’s gambling addiction came as a shock to Ohtani during a team meeting after a recent game in South Korea. He described his disbelief upon learning that Mizuhara had been using his account to transfer money to bookmakers.

Expressing his profound shock and frustration, Ohtani pledged full cooperation with ongoing investigations while focusing on his upcoming baseball season. He concluded by entrusting legal matters to his attorneys and vowed to assist in resolving the situation.

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