MLB investigating Shohei Ohtani amid Ippei Mizuhara betting scandal

Major League Baseball has announced the league is investigating Shohei Ohtani after a pair of bombshell reports linked his longtime translator and friend Ippei Mizuhara of possibly being involved in an illegal betting scandal.

The news of MLB formally launching an investigation comes as the Los Angeles Dodgers fired Mizuhara on Wednesday.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Ohtani’s involvement with interpreter’s alleged gambling comes into question

According to a bombshell report from ESPN, Mizuhara was being asked about Shohei Ohtani's money allegedly being wire-transferred to a bookie for illegal gambling purposes. According to the ESPN report, Mizuhara allegedly was in deep gambling debts to a bookie. The Los Angeles Times, who was first to report on the Mizuhara scandal, reported that the bookie tied to Mizuhara, Mathew Bowyer, is under federal investigation.


Here is where things got incredibly confusing earlier in the week: Mizuhara reportedly told ESPN – with Ohtani's reps apparently arranging the interpreter's interview with the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" – that the 39-year-old was in gambling debt and asked Ohtani to pay that off for him.

"Obviously, he [Ohtani] wasn't happy about it and said he would help me out to make sure I never do this again," Mizuhara reportedly told ESPN before Ohtani's reps "disavowed" the interpreter's accounts earlier in the week.

Ohtani's attorneys, on the other hand, say the 2-way star was a victim of a "massive theft." Ohtani's attorneys, however, did not explicitly out Mizuhara as the alleged thief.

Below was a statement released by Ohtani's attorneys on Wednesday:

"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."

Leading up to MLB's announcement Friday, Mizuhara had explicitly told ESPN that Ohtani does not bet and had "zero involvement" in the betting.