Shohei Ohtani Embroiled In Gambling Scandal After Interpreter Fired

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2024 Seoul Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 21: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning during the 2024 Seoul Series game between San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers at Gocheok Sky Dome on March 21, 2024 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Ippei Mizuhara was fired amid "massive theft" allegations.

Last night, the Dodgers fired the longtime interpreter of Shohei Ohtani after an ESPN investigation revealed that the man had allegedly stolen millions from the MLB star to cover gambling debts. Originally, a spokesperson for Ohtani told ESPN that Ohtani had willingly given Ippei Mizuhara $4.5M to cover the debts. However, after Mizuhara spoke with ESPN himself, Ohtani's camp issued a statement alleging "massive theft", although they did not explicitly name Mizuhara. This all came to light due to a federal investigation into an illegal California betting operation. Matthew Bowyer reportedly received a million dollars from Ohtani's bank account. However, sources close to the betting operation told ESPN that Bowyer only ever interacted with Mizuhara.

Of course, this has led to a wave of conspiracy theories. Some believe that Mizuhara was Ohtani's intermediary, placing bets on the Dodgers star's behalf. All bets that Mizuhara made were on sports other than baseball. However, at this time, Ohtani will not face discipline and is not under investigation himself over Mizuhara's actions. Mizuhara told ESPN that he had asked Ohtani to pay off his debts last year and that he did not know that Bowyer's outfit was illegal. This remains a developing story.

Read More: Shohei Ohtani Signs $700M Deal With Dodgers, Largest Contract In Baseball History

Shohei Ohtani Reveals Identity Of His Wife

Elsewhere, Ohtani recently revealed that his wife is former pro basketball player Mamiko Tanaka. Ohtani arrived at the Dodgers' spring training with the news that he had "recently married someone" in his home country of Japan. However, he did not reveal the identity of his wife until now. Ohtani posted a photo of the pair as they boarded a plane to South Korea for the Dodgers' season opener.

Tanaka played for Waseeda University and later for the Fujitsu Red Wave in Japan's pro league. However, she stepped away from professional basketball last year, leading many fans to speculate that she had gotten married or was otherwise focusing on her personal life.

Read More: Baby Mama Of Tim Anderson Celebrates MLB Veteran's New Contract, Fans Are Split On How To Feel

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.