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

Dodgers Star Ohtani Clears Up Allegations of Sports Betting in Stunning Press Conference

Los Angeles, CA – Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani held a press conference on Monday to address allegations of sports betting. During the nearly 12-minute speech, Ohtani denied any involvement in illegal betting and accused his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, of stealing money from him and spreading falsehoods.

Ohtani was flanked by Will Ireton, the team’s manager of performance operations who acted as interpreter during the conference. Ohtani expressed his shock and sadness at the betrayal, stating that Mizuhara had been taking money from his bank account and spreading false information about him. He presented a document during his speech but did not take any questions from the media.

Despite ongoing investigations by Major League Baseball (MLB) and federal prosecutors, Ohtani is expected to continue playing for the Dodgers. The penalties for players involved in illegal sports betting are at the discretion of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. The last known case related to this issue was in 2015 when a player was fined $500,000 for gambling on baseball games.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts supported Ohtani’s decision to speak out about the situation publicly, stating that it was important for clarity to be brought to the matter. Roberts hoped that Ohtani’s statement would help clear up any confusion surrounding the allegations against him. Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December before joining the Dodgers in December 2019 on a historic $700 million contract over ten years.

In closing remarks, Ohtani emphasized his innocence and reiterated that he had never placed bets on sports or been involved in any illegal gambling activities. He also stated that he had not authorized anyone to place bets on his behalf or use bookmakers for sports betting purposes.

The investigation into Mizuhara’s actions is ongoing, and further details will be released as they become available.

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