Shohei Ohtani ‘will NOT take media questions’ today on bombshell $4.5m gambling probe, with the $700m LA Dodgers star ‘reading a statement’ instead

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Written By Maya Cantina

Shohei Ohtani will not take questions from the media later on Monday, with the $700million Dodgers star instead reading a statement on the bombshell $4.5million gambling probe engulfing him.

According to multiple reports on Monday afternoon, the Japan star is only going to read his statement.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts insisted on Sunday that the gambling probe surrounding Ohtani and his fired interpreter Ippei Mizuhara has not been a distraction for Los Angeles but said he was pleased Ohtani would be speaking out.

‘I think it’s good. I think it’s the right thing to do,’ Roberts told the media. ‘I’m happy he’s going to speak to what he knows and give his thoughts on the whole situation. I think it will give us all a little bit more clarity.’ 

But that now does not appear to be entirely the case. Ohtani will give his pre-planned statement at 2:45 pm PT. 

Shohei Ohtani will not take media questions on Monday when he reads a statement on the $4.5million gambling probe that is engulfing him 

Ohtani is scheduled to make a media appearance on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles

Ohtani is scheduled to make a media appearance on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles 

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Sunday he was pleased Ohtani was going to speak

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Sunday he was pleased Ohtani was going to speak 

The slugger has also not spoken since the team fired Mizuhara, who is accused of using $4.5million of Ohtani’s money to pay off gambling debts. 

After initially claiming that Ohtani gave him the money to help his situation, representatives for the baseball star have described the events as a ‘massive theft’.

The latest developments in this story find that Mizuhara lied about attending the University of California at Riverside – and also made up that he worked with former Boston Red Sox player Hideki Okajima.

The Red Sox even went so far as to send out a release to media members, stating, ‘Mizuhara was never employed by the Boston Red Sox in any capacity and was not an interpreter for Hideki Okajima during the pitcher’s time with the team. Please know that we have thoroughly checked our files to ensure we are providing accurate information.’

Mizuhara, 39, was fired by the Dodgers on Wednesday amid questions surrounding at least $4.5 million in suspicious wire transfers from Ohtani’s bank to an illegal California gambling operation that ESPN reports is under federal investigation. Unlike many states, California has not yet legalized sports gambling.

At the time, the Dodgers were playing against the San Diego Padres in South Korea in the opening series of the season for Major League Baseball.

Spokespeople for Ohtani initially told ESPN that the 29-year-old was helping Mizuhara to cover massive gambling debts. But later – after the interpreter spoke to ESPN about the allegations – Ohtani’s representatives disavowed his comments and offered a statement from the Dodgers star’s attorneys:

‘In the course of responding to recent media inquiries, we discovered that Shohei has been the victim of a massive theft, and we are turning the matter over to the authorities,’ read the statement from Ohtani’s law firm, Berk Brettler LLP.

Ohtani’s lawyers did not outright accuse Mizuhara of stealing from the slugger, but the Los Angeles Times reports that the interpreter is accused of grifting millions from the star.

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