Ohtani speaks out about gambling scandal

Japanese star Ohtani Shohei has spoken out about the gambling scandal involving his former interpreter, Mizuhara Ippei. He held a news conference on Monday at the Los Angeles Dodgers' stadium.

US media reported Mizuhara had amassed debts with an illegal bookmaker of 4.5 million dollars. Ohtani's lawyers have accused him of wiring money from Ohtani's bank account. The team has fired Mizuhara.

Ohtani said Mizuhara made claims to the media, but they were all lies. "I never agreed to pay off the debt, nor asked him to send money to the bookmaker, nor gave him the permission to do so," he said. Ohtani said he did not know about the debt nor about the gambling addiction until Mizuhara spoke last week to the team.

Ohtani denied ever placing bets on sports himself.
He said he is saddened and shocked that someone he trusted has done all this.

Federal tax authorities are investigating the transactions and the activities of the bookmaker. Major League officials are also looking into the events. Ohtani said he would leave the matter to them and his lawyers, so he can focus on the season.