Ohtani, the star player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, held a news conference Monday to address allegations that he had bet on sports. The 24-year-old player denied these accusations and explained that his former translator, Ipei Mizuhara, had stolen money from him and lied about it. This came after the Dodgers fired Mizuhara amid media inquiries regarding wire transfers totaling at least $4.5 million from Ohtani’s bank account to a betting operation under federal investigation.

Ohtani sat next to Will Ireton, the team’s performance manager who was acting as an interpreter during his nearly 12-minute speech. He expressed shock and sadness at the betrayal and alleged that Mizuhara had stolen money and spread falsehoods about him. Ohtani did not take questions from the media after presenting a document that he claimed supported his claims of innocence.

Despite ongoing investigations by MLB and federal prosecutors, Ohtani is expected to continue playing. Penalties for players involved in illegal sports betting activities are at the commissioner’s discretion. The last known case related to this issue was in 2015 when the player was fined, and Ohtani emphasized that he never engaged in illegal betting.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts supported Ohtani’s decision to address the situation publicly, saying it was the right thing to do. Roberts hoped Ohtani’s public statement would further clarify the situation. In closing arguments, Ohtani reiterated his innocence, stating that he had never bet on sports or been involved in any illegal betting activities. He emphasized that he had not authorized anyone to bet on his behalf and that he had never used the bookmaker for sports betting purposes.

The news conference marked another chapter in what has been a tumultuous season for Ohtani both on and off the field

By Samantha Johnson

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