The suspicions surrounding Shohei Ohtani (30, Los Angeles Dodgers) have been amplified by the firing of his longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, on charges of theft and gambling. Ohtani, who first appeared in public with his wife, smiling broadly when he arrived in South Korea for the MLB World Tour’s Seoul Series on Nov. 15 (local time), fell silent as he left the country on Nov. 22 with a stern expression on his face.

On Feb. 22, U.S. media, including ESPN, reported that Ohtani’s interpreter, Mizuhara, had been fired by the Dodgers. Mizuhara, who has been illegally gambling on sports other than baseball since 2021, was suspected of stealing $4.5 million from Otani’s account to pay off debts, and was forced to leave Otani’s side after the opening game of the Seoul Series.

According to ESPN, Mizuhara was under investigation by the U.S. federal government and owed money to a business run by Southern California gambler Matthew Boyer. In two separate transfers in September and October of last year, $500,000 was sent from Otani’s account to Boyer’s associate. In the United States, 카지노사이트 sports gambling is legal in 40 states, but illegal in California, where the Dodgers are based.


Mizuhara said, “Ohtani said he would help me never get in trouble again. He agreed to pay off my gambling debt for me,” Mizuhara said, adding, “I want everyone to know that he was never involved in gambling.” However, suspicions have been fueled by Otani’s defense lawyers claiming that Otani was the victim of theft, and Mizuhara has since reversed himself, saying that Otani did not know about his gambling debt and did not transfer the money.

With his interpreter gone overnight, Ohtani skipped workouts ahead of the team’s second game of the opening series against the San Diego Padres at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Nov. 21. He batted normally as the No. 2 designated hitter, but after the game, he refused to answer questions from reporters and boarded a plane to the United States.

The U.S. publication The Athletic reported on Feb. 22, “Ohtani’s silence comes as a gambling scandal involving his friend and interpreter continues to rock the baseball world. He walked out of Seoul’s Gocheok Sky Dome without answering questions from reporters who accused Mizuhara of stealing at least $4.5 million to pay off gambling debts.

Ohtani, his agent, CAA Nez Valero,

Dodgers president Stan Karsten and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman also declined to answer questions. Major League Baseball officials also declined to comment, other than to say that “Ohtani is not currently under league discipline.”

While the question of why Mizuhara reversed his statement has emerged, The Athletic cited Ohtani’s legal proceedings and possible discipline. It is not known if he will be prosecuted for sending the money alone, but the federal government typically goes after gamblers more than those who gamble. There is no indication from the accounts that Ohtani gambled himself.

However, his involvement in such illegal gambling is enough to warrant disciplinary action from the league. Article 21 of the league’s rules states that “if a player, umpire, club or league official or employee places a bet with an illegal gambling organization or an agent of an illegal gambling organization, the commissioner may impose such sanctions as he deems appropriate in light of the facts and circumstances of the offense.

The secretariat is currently in the information-gathering phase of its investigation into the Otani matter. “The Secretariat appears to be giving more credence to the defense’s claim that Ohtani was a victim than to Mizuhara’s initial explanation that he had paid off the debt,”

The Athletic reported, noting that the Secretariat is not making a big deal out of the matter.

“The more fundamental and uncomfortable question is, how dare the secretariat investigate Otani, who makes the league money and is beloved by everyone. If the league is truly interested in protecting the fairness of the game, it needs to get to the bottom of Ohtani’s involvement. Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he will discipline stars, as he did with Trevor Bauer’s long-term suspension for violating the domestic violence policy. “It would test the league’s resolve to investigate Ohtani, 안전놀이터 who is far more popular and recognizable than Bauer,” he said, emphasizing that he should be held to the same standards as other players.

‘If Ohtani was simply paying off Mizuhara’s debt to an illegal gambler, he may have violated federal law, but under league rules, he would fall into a gray area. “Based on league precedent, he would only be fined,” he said, citing the case of Miami Marlins pitcher Jared Cozart in 2015. Cozart was fined an undisclosed amount by the commissioner’s office after he was found to have engaged in illegal sports gambling. Cozart avoided a severe penalty because he was not betting on baseball, a mitigating factor.

While betting on sports other than baseball can result in a fine, betting on baseball is different. If you bet on a team other than your own, you face a one-year ban, and if you bet on your own team, you face a permanent ban.

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