April 16, 2024
Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani earlier than a spring coaching recreation at Dodger Stadium. Credit score: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports activities

Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani mentioned on Monday he was the sufferer of theft by his former interpreter and that he had by no means guess on baseball or knowingly paid a bookmaker in his first public remarks because the playing scandal broke final week.

Ohtani’s assertion was the Japanese ballplayer’s first remarks because the allegations of “huge theft” in opposition to Ippei Mizuhara surfaced, resulting in the interpreter’s firing by the staff.

“I’m very saddened and shocked that somebody who I trusted has carried out this,” Ohtani informed reporters at a press convention at Dodger Stadium about Mizuhara.

“I do wish to make it clear that I by no means guess on sports activities or have willfully despatched cash to the bookmaker,” he added later within the press convention.

Ohtani mentioned he was unaware Mizuhara had playing money owed and that he had been lied to repeatedly by the interpreter who has been by his aspect since he joined Main League Baseball in 2018.

“Clearly I by no means agreed to repay the debt or make funds to the bookmaker,” he mentioned.

Ohtani mentioned Mizuhara admitted to him in Seoul final week that he had been utilizing Ohtani’s account to make the funds.

“At that second, it was an absurd factor that was occurring and I contacted my reps,” Ohtani mentioned.

Ohtani added that he was helping in all investigations into the matter.

His attorneys informed the LA Occasions final week that Mizuhara had used the ballplayer’s funds to repay an alleged unlawful bookmaker, who’s reportedly underneath federal investigation.

ESPN reported that not less than $4.5 million had been transferred from Ohtani’s account to a Southern California playing operation.

Questions surrounding Ohtani’s involvement within the scandal prompted him to deal with reporters on Monday, the place he spoke by means of a brand new interpreter and left with out taking questions.

“To summarize how I’m feeling proper now – I’m past shocked, it’s actually onerous to verbalize how I’m feeling at this level,” Ohtani mentioned.

Reuters has been unable to achieve Mizuhara for remark.

Ohtani joined the Dodgers final December after signing a $700 million, 10-year contact that introduced an finish to a high-profile chase for one of the vital coveted MLB free brokers in current reminiscence.

The Dodgers play a pre-season recreation in a while Monday. The staff’s residence opener for the 2024 marketing campaign is on Thursday.