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Mar 22, 2024 7:53 pm

MLB opens investigation into Shohei Ohtani, ex-interpreter

Shohei Ohtani

Major League Baseball announced Friday that it has opened an investigation into the allegations involving Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani and his former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.

Two days after the Dodgers fired Mizuhara, the league said it has been gathering information about the incident. Mizuhara was accused of “massive theft” on Wednesday by Ohtani’s lawyers after it was learned that at least $4.5 million of Ohtani’s money had been sent through wire transfers to a bookmaking operation under federal investigation.

According to ESPN, MLB is expected to request interviews with everyone involved in the matter, including Ohtani and Mizuhara. But the league has no way to compel Mizuhara to speak since he’s no longer employed by a team.

Ohtani also has the right to refuse to speak with the league as a member of the MLB Players Association, and he may do so because of the ongoing criminal investigation.

When news first broke of the wire transfers, Ohtani’s lawyers said the Dodgers slugger had paid Mizuhara’s gambling debts but then accused him of making those transfers without Ohtani’s knowledge.

The IRS said Thursday that Mizuhara and the alleged illegal bookmaker, Mathew Bowyer, are being investigated by the agency’s Los Angeles field office.

Mizuhara has been interpreting for Ohtani since the two-way superstar debuted with the Los Angeles Angels in 2017.

Ohtani signed a record-setting 10-year, $700 million with the Dodgers in December after batting .304 with an American League-leading 44 homers and 95 RBIs in 2023, when he earned his second AL MVP.

–Field Level Media

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