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Shohei Ohtani says he has never bet on sports, addresses interpreter’s alleged gambling

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On Monday, March 25, Shohei Ohtani addressed the media for the first time since news that his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara had allegedly accrued debts broke. Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers last week.

In his address, Ohtani said he “never bet on baseball or any other sports, or … asked somebody to do it on my behalf,” CNN reports.

On Tuesday, March 19, after news of Mizuhara’s debts first broke, a spokesperson for Ohtani said the player said he was covering the debts of his interpreter and friend. But on Wednesday, Ohtani’s lawyers released a statement saying he was the victim of massive theft. A point Ohtani reiterated during his address.

“Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies,” Ohtani said in Japanese with the help of a different interpreter, per NBC News.

In his initial interview with ESPN, Mizuhara said that he had told Ohtani about his debts and asked Ohtani to bail him out. But Ohtani now says that he did not find out about the debt until after a Seoul Series game last week in South Korea.

“Until a couple days ago, I did not know this was happening,” Ohtani said, per The Washington Post.

Major League Baseball is conducting an internal investigation into Mizuhara and the incident as is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“I’m very saddened and shocked that someone who I trusted has done this,” Ohtani said, according to NBC News.

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