Shohei Ohtani to Address Illegal Gambling and Theft Allegations in Media Conference

LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Dodgers star, is set to hold a media conference on Monday to address the illegal gambling and theft allegations that have recently emerged. The allegations involve Ohtani and his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, during the team’s trip to South Korea. Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers last week as the team opened the season in Seoul against the San Diego Padres.

Manager Dave Roberts has expressed his support for Ohtani’s decision to speak publicly about the matter, stating that it is the right thing to do. Ohtani’s attorneys have claimed that the Japanese star was a victim of a “massive theft,” while reports from the Los Angeles Times and ESPN have linked Mizuhara to an illegal bookmaker. Major League Baseball has initiated an investigation into the allegations, and the Internal Revenue Service has confirmed that both Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the alleged illegal bookmaker, are under criminal investigation.

Ohtani made a brief appearance in the Dodgers clubhouse before Sunday’s Freeway Series opener against his former team, the Los Angeles Angels. The teams are currently playing three exhibition games before the Dodgers’ home opener against St. Louis on Thursday. Ohtani, who signed a record-breaking $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers in December, is expected to play in Monday and Tuesday’s games in Anaheim.

Roberts mentioned that Ohtani has not addressed his teammates as a group but has had individual conversations with some players. The manager also stated that Ohtani seems to be focused on business as usual. Extra security measures have been implemented in the clubhouse, which was crowded with players, media, and temporary lockers for minor leaguers brought in for the Freeway Series.

The article highlights that betting on baseball, whether legal or not, carries a one-year ban from the sport, while penalties for illegal betting on other sports are at the commissioner’s discretion. Sports gambling is illegal in California, although it is allowed in 38 states and the District of Columbia in some form.

Author: CrimeDoor

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