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Main League Baseball opens investigation into Shohei Ohtani, former interpreter

Tisha Thompson: ‘Lot of questions’ still about Ohtani’s involvement (3:38) ESPN investigative reporter Tisha Thompson says there are still lots of questions surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s possible involvement in the wire transfers that led to his interpreter being fired. (3:38) T.J. Quinn, ESPN Senior WriterMar 22, 2024, 06:05 PM ET Close T.J. Quinn joined ESPN in

Main League Baseball opens investigation into Shohei Ohtani, former interpreter

Tisha Thompson: ‘Lot of questions’ nonetheless about Ohtani’s involvement (3:38)

ESPN investigative reporter Tisha Thompson says there are nonetheless numerous questions surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s potential involvement within the wire transfers that led to his interpreter being fired. (3:38)

  • T.J. Quinn, ESPN Senior AuthorMar 22, 2024, 06:05 PM ET

    Close

      T.J. Quinn joined ESPN in November 2007 as an investigative reporter for ESPN’s Enterprise Unit, which is charged with creating long-form, investigative options to be offered throughout a number of platforms.

Main League Baseball has opened a proper investigation into the matter surrounding Los Angeles Dodgers famous person Shohei Ohtani and his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, the league introduced Friday.

MLB is predicted to request interviews with all events, together with Ohtani and Mizuhara, a supply instructed ESPN, though officers can have no technique to compel Mizuhara’s cooperation since he now not works in baseball.

Ohtani additionally has a proper to refuse cooperation as a member of the MLB Gamers Affiliation. Ohtani might invoke his proper, beneath an interpretation of arbitration precedent, to refuse cooperation due to a felony investigation that is already underway. Historically, MLB has argued a participant can invoke such an exception if he’s a goal of the investigation, which Ohtani just isn’t believed to be.

MLB stated in a press release that it started gathering details about the allegations involving Ohtani and Mizuhara after stories got here out this week. Its division of investigations started formally investigating the matter Friday, the league stated.

The announcement got here two days after Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers as reporters pressed for questions on at the least $4.5 million in wire transfers despatched from Ohtani’s checking account to a bookmaking operation that’s beneath federal investigation.

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In a span of two days, Ohtani’s handlers moved from saying the slugger had paid Mizuhara’s playing money owed to his attorneys asserting Ohtani had been the sufferer of a “huge theft.”

It stays unclear if any authorities are investigating the alleged theft. Ohtani’s representatives stated Thursday that that they had formally submitted the allegation to legislation enforcement however didn’t say to which authorities. Sources instructed ESPN that neither the California Bureau of Investigation nor the FBI was working the case.

Spokespersons with the Los Angeles Police Division and district legal professional’s workplaces in Los Angeles and Orange counties all stated they weren’t investigating, they usually indicated it was more than likely a federal matter. The U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Central District of California declined to remark.

Ohtani is predicted to stay on the Dodgers’ lively roster whereas the league’s investigation unfolds.

MLB’s administrative depart, whereby gamers are paid their salaries however are dominated ineligible to play whereas investigations are ongoing, applies solely to points pertaining to the joint home violence, sexual assault and little one abuse coverage. As a result of Ohtani has not been accused of dealing straight with the bookmaker and there’s no proof that any of the bets have been made on baseball, the league does not see a have to take him off the sphere at this second.

ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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