The Dodgers pitcher held a press conference to clarify information about the investigation into his former interpreter. Keep reading to find out more!

Ippei Mizuhara Ohtani Baseball Scandal Press Conference Statement

On Monday, Japanese baseball pitcher Shohei Ohtani, 29, held a press conference to address the illegal gambling investigation of his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, 39.

Ippei Mizuhara Ohtani Baseball Scandal Press Conference Statement

As reported by ESPN, initially, Mizuhara suggested Ohtani gave him money to pay off around $4.5 million in gambling debts. However, during a press conference on Monday, Ohtani stated that Mizuhara “has been stealing from my account and has told lies,”

Ohtani said that he is “beyond shocked” and he has “never bet on baseball or any other sports, or never have asked somebody to do that on my behalf,”

Mizuhara Interpreter Gambling Details

The first sign of trouble came during the recent Seoul Series in Korea. Before the opening-season game between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres, an ESPN reporter asked Ohtani’s agent about a $1 million wire transfer bearing Ohtani’s name. A spokesman for Ohtani initially confirmed the star pitcher paid off Mizuhara’s debts.

During an interview with ESPN, Mizuhara revealed he met Mathew Bowyer, who ran an illegal bookmaking operation in California, during a poker game in 2021. The two began betting on sports games—except baseball—soon after. Betting on credit, Mizuhara soon accumulated a debt of at least $4.5 million. Gambling is illegal in the state of California.

Describing Ohtani as a brother, Mizuhara said he “couldn’t share” with Ohtani that he was in debt and “living paycheck to paycheck,”

Was Shohei Ohtani Gambling?

In his statement, Ohtani directly states that he never gambled. Read with the help of a new English interpreter, Ohtani clarified he did not pay off Mizuhara’s debts.

Mizuhara Interpreter Gambling Details

Speaking in front of reporters on Monday, Ohtani revealed he didn’t know the money was being taken out of his account “until a couple of days ago,” and “never agreed to pay off the debt or make payments to the bookmaker,”

Ohtani said that he learned of the debt after a team meeting in which he could tell “there was something amiss.” When Mizuhara told Ohtani of his debt, the baseball pitcher said he told his representatives and lawyers.

Ohtani said he was looking forward to the upcoming season and is letting the “proper authorities” investigate the issue.

What do you think of the Ohtani-Mizuhara scandal?

Published by HOLR Magazine.

Image Credit: @NBCLA YouTube @shoheiohtani Instagram