Major League Baseball is conducting an investigation into allegations of gambling and theft involving Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara

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Shohei Ohtani with Ippei Mizuhara (Credits: AP News)

Major League Baseball is looking into allegations of illegal gambling and theft involving Los Angeles Dodgers’ star Shohei Ohtani and his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. Mizuhara was released from the team after reports emerged linking him to an illegal bookmaker and claims from Ohtani’s lawyers about a significant theft.

“Major League Baseball has begun investigating the matter formally after gathering information about Shohei Ohtani and Ippei (Mizuhara) from the media,” said the commissioner’s office in a statement.

The investigation started while Ohtani and the Dodgers were in Seoul, South Korea, for their opening series against the San Diego Padres. The news broke about Mizuhara’s alleged connections with an illegal bookmaker, and MLB made a public statement after the team returned to the U.S.

The IRS confirmed that Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the alleged bookmaker, are under criminal investigation through the agency’s Los Angeles Field Office. Mizuhara has not been reached for comment, and it’s unclear if he has legal representation.

Shohei Ohtani with Ippei Mizuhara (Credits: AP News)

MLB’s Department of Investigations, established in 2008, is handling the case. The unit previously investigated players like Alex Rodriguez and Trevor Bauer.

Ohtani, a two-time AL MVP, joined the Dodgers last December on a record-breaking contract. He hasn’t made any public statements about the issue yet.

The Dodgers are gearing up for their regular season opener next Thursday. Mizuhara, Ohtani’s interpreter, mentioned to ESPN that his bets were on various sports but denied betting on baseball.

The MLB prohibits players and team personnel from betting on baseball, and penalties can be severe. Mizuhara mentioned that Ohtani paid his gambling debts but later changed his story, claiming Ohtani did not know of the debts.

This incident is the most significant gambling scandal in baseball since Pete Rose’s lifetime ban in 1989 for betting on games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds.

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By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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