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Los Angeles — Shohei Ohtani, the star player of the Dodgers, held a press conference on Monday to address allegations that he had placed bets on sports. During his nearly 12-minute speech, Ohtani denied the accusations and explained that his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, had stolen money from him and lied about it.

Ohtani was seated beside Will Ireton, the team’s manager of performance operations who was acting as interpreter. He expressed shock and sadness at the betrayal and stated that Mizuhara had been stealing money and spreading falsehoods about him. Ohtani presented a document during his speech and did not take any questions from the media.

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

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts supported Ohtani’s decision to address the situation publicly, stating that it was the right thing to do. Roberts hoped that Ohtani’s public statement would bring further clarity to the situation. Ohtani signed a historic $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers in December after leaving the Los Angeles Angels.

In closing remarks, Ohtani reiterated his innocence and stated that he had never bet on sports or been involved in any illegal betting activities. He emphasized that he had not authorized anyone to place bets on his behalf and had never used a bookmaker for sports betting purposes.

The allegations against Ohtani have raised concerns about gambling among professional athletes. However, some argue that athletes should be allowed to make their own decisions regarding gambling activities while others believe that they should follow stricter rules to prevent corruption within their sport.

As baseball fans continue to watch closely as events unfold with regard to this issue, many are hoping for closure on this matter soon so we can get back to watching our favorite teams play ball without any distractions or controversy surrounding them.

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