Shohei Ohtani Denies Involvement in Illegal Gambling Scandal

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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Shohei Ohtani Denies Involvement in Illegal Gambling Scandal

In a packed room filled with over 70 reporters, baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani made his first public statement regarding the recent controversy surrounding his longtime interpreter and friend, Ippei Mizuhara. Ohtani vehemently denied any involvement in illegal gambling activities and expressed shock and disappointment at Mizuhara's actions.

Shock and Disbelief: Standing alongside top team officials and teammates at Dodger Stadium, Shohei Ohtani addressed the media, expressing gratitude for their patience during what he described as a "tough week." He expressed his sadness and disbelief that someone he trusted could be involved in such activities.

Longstanding Relationship: Ohtani clarified the depth of his relationship with Mizuhara, explaining that they had known each other since his rookie days with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan. Mizuhara had served not only as his interpreter but also as a close friend, driver, and training partner. Their bond was so strong that former Angels manager Joe Maddon once likened their relationship to "peanut butter and jelly."

Allegations Surface: The scandal emerged when news broke that Mizuhara allegedly transferred significant sums of money from an account in Shohei Ohtani's name to a bookmaker under federal investigation. Mizuhara initially claimed that Ohtani was aware of his debts and had agreed to assist in repaying them, but he later retracted this statement, maintaining that Ohtani had no knowledge of the situation.

Source: Twitter/News 4 Buffalo 

Deception Unveiled: During a team meeting in Seoul, Ohtani sensed that something was amiss when Mizuhara spoke in English, leaving him without a translator. Subsequently, Mizuhara confessed to Ohtani privately, admitting to using Ohtani's account to send funds to the bookmaker. Ohtani immediately contacted his representatives, leading to the discovery of Mizuhara's deceit.

Legal Ramifications: Following these revelations, the Los Angeles Dodgers terminated Mizuhara's employment, and he is now under investigation by the IRS. Major League Baseball's Department of Investigations announced its own inquiry into the matter. Ohtani's legal team at Berk Brettler LLP asserted that he had been a victim of significant embezzlement.

Ohtani's Commitment to Integrity: Throughout his statement, Ohtani reiterated his commitment to integrity and his opposition to gambling. He emphasized that he had never placed bets on baseball or any other sports, nor had he asked anyone to do so on his behalf. Ohtani expressed hope that the media and fans would understand the limitations on what he could discuss due to the ongoing investigation.

Moving Forward: As Ohtani navigates the fallout from this scandal, he remains focused on his baseball career. With the support of his teammates, team officials, and legal counsel, Ohtani is determined to put this incident behind him and continue to excel on the field.


Shohei Ohtani's denial of involvement in the illegal gambling scandal surrounding his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, underscores the complexities and challenges faced by athletes in maintaining trust and integrity in their personal and professional relationships.

As investigations continue, Ohtani remains steadfast in his commitment to transparency and honesty, determined to overcome this setback and continue his remarkable journey in Major League Baseball.

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