Ippei Mizuhara: Shohei Ohtani Believes ‘Gambling Is Terrible’

Shohei Ohtani has long been in the spotlight for his unprecedented talent as a two-way player, but now finds himself at the center of a scandal involving longtime friend and former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.

The Los Angeles Dodgers fired Mizuhara as Ohtani’s interpreter last week for his reported involvement in illegal gambling activities. Mizuhara is believed to be tied to Southern California bookmaker Mathew Bowyer, who has been under federal investigation.

Mizuhara allegedly stole millions from Ohtani to pay off gambling debts. Investigators reportedly uncovered wire transfers to Bowyer from a bank account in Ohtani’s name.

Mizuhara has given several accounts of his purported gambling but was adamant about Ohtani never placing a bet, via ESPN’s Tisha Thompson:

He adds that Ohtani has never gambled and “thinks gambling is terrible.”

“He sees that people, teammates would be gambling all the time, and he’ll be like, ‘Why are they doing this? Gambling is not good.’ He would make comments like that. People would ask him to go to casinos on road trips, and he would never go. No, he’s not into it.”

Amid all of the information that has come to light, Major League Baseball launched an investigation into Ohtani and Mizuhara. MLB’s policy prohibits “any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee” from betting on baseball or making illegal bets involving other sports.

To this point there has not been any indication Ohtani placed bets — legal or otherwise — on any sport, much less baseball.

Mizuhara is also under criminal investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which presently is not believed to include Ohtani as well.

Shohei Ohtani remaining on Dodgers roster

While MLB’s investigation involves the two-way superstar, the belief is Ohtani will remain on the Dodgers roster and eligible to play in games.

Ohtani was in the Dodgers lineup for the finale of the Seoul Series even as speculation and conspiracy theories of his involvement in Mizuhara’s betting ran rampant.

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