MLB Investigating Shohei Ohtani & Ippei Mizuhara Over Gambling Allegations

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MLB announced an investigation has been launched into Shohei Ohtani and Ippei Mizuhara amid allegations the two-way star was the victim of theft at the hands of his former interpreter.

“Major League Baseball has been gathering information since we learned about the allegations involving Shohei Ohtani and Ippei Mizuhari [sic] from the news media,” the league said in a statement. “Earlier today, our Department of Investigations (DOI) began their formal process investigating the matter.”

Mizuhara is alleged to have stolen millions from Ohtani to pay off gambling debts. Ohtani became intertwined with a federal investigation into Southern California bookmaker Mathew Bowyer. Investigators were said to have uncovered wire transfers to Bowyer from a bank account in Ohtani’s name.

In ESPN’s detailed reporting, an Ohtani spokesperson said he had paid to cover Mizuhara’s gambling debts. That was initially corroborated by Mizuhara, but he then recanted and said Ohtani was not aware of his betting activity or debts. Ohtani’s representatives also changed their stance and refuted the notion that the two-way superstar had provided financial assistance to Mizuhara for his gambling debt.

The Dodgers fired Mizuhara on Wednesday, a decision that was not conveyed or apparent at the time he spoke to the clubhouse at Gocheok Sky Dome to reveal his betting activity was about to go public.

“The Dodgers are aware of media reports and are gathering information,” the club said in a statement. “The team can confirm that interpreter Ippei Mizuhara has been terminated. The team has no further comment at this time.”

Ohtani remained in the Dodgers lineup for the finale of the Seoul Series, going 1-for-5 with a run scored and one RBI in the team’s 15-11 loss.

Ohtani did not speak with reporters after the game, and Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts have each declined comment as well.

Did Shohei Ohtani know about Ippei Mizuhara’s gambling?

While there have been conflicting reports and changing accounts regarding the matter, it presently appears that Ohtani was not aware of Mizuhara’s illegal gambling until he spoke to players in the Dodgers clubhouse.

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