Key points from Shohei Ohtani’s presser: ‘I refrain from sports betting’

Shohei Ohtani, a Japanese baseball player for the Los Angeles Angels, held a press conference to address the recent scandal involving his longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who was accused of stealing over $4.5 million from Ohtani’s funds to pay off gambling debts. Ohtani vehemently denied ever betting on sports or being involved with a bookmaker. He expressed shock and sadness over Mizuhara’s actions and stated that he had no knowledge of the gambling debts until recently. Despite the ongoing investigations by the IRS and MLB, Ohtani is expected to continue playing.

During the press conference, Ohtani revealed that he only found out about Mizuhara’s gambling issues after a team meeting in Korea, where Mizuhara had been speaking with Ohtani’s representatives and falsely claiming that Ohtani was paying off his debts. Ohtani stated that he immediately contacted his representatives after learning about the situation. He emphasized that he had never agreed to pay off the debts or make payments to a bookmaker. Ohtani expressed his shock and disbelief at the turn of events and stated that he is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigations.

One of the main questions that remain regarding the scandal is how Ohtani was unaware of the large sums of money being transferred from his account to the bookmaker until recently. It raises concerns about Mizuhara’s access and control over Ohtani’s finances, despite being his interpreter and close friend. Ohtani acknowledged that he will allow his lawyers to handle the matter going forward and is fully assisting in all investigations. The situation is likely to continue developing over time, as more details emerge and investigations progress.

The scandal involving Ohtani and his interpreter has brought significant attention from the media and baseball community. The press conference at Dodger Stadium drew a large crowd, with over 70 media members in attendance. Ohtani’s statement was delivered with the help of a new interpreter, Will Ireton, and was met with interest from various prominent figures in the baseball world, including Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts and team executives. The fallout from the scandal has raised questions about accountability, trust, and integrity in professional sports.

The ongoing investigations into the scandal are expected to shed more light on the extent of Mizuhara’s actions and the impact on Ohtani’s career. The situation has brought scrutiny to the role of interpreters and their relationships with athletes, as well as the potential risks of financial exploitation. Despite the challenges and uncertainties surrounding the scandal, Ohtani remains focused on his baseball career and is determined to continue playing. The support from his team and the baseball community will be crucial as he navigates through this challenging period.

As the story of the scandal continues to unfold, the spotlight on Ohtani and his interpreter will likely remain in the public eye. The allegations of illegal gambling and theft have sparked discussions about ethics and responsibility in professional sports, as well as the need for transparency and accountability. Ohtani’s statement at the press conference provided some clarity on the situation, but many questions still remain unanswered. The outcome of the investigations and the impact on Ohtani’s reputation and career will be closely watched in the coming days and weeks.