Major League Baseball’s department of investigations has begun looking into gambling allegations involving Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani and his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, the league announced Friday.

“MLB has been gathering information since we learned about the allegations involving Shohei Ohtani and Ippei Mizuhara from the news media,” an MLB statement read. “Earlier today, our department of investigations began their formal process investigating the matter.”

Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers on Wednesday after he was accused of stealing money from Ohtani to place bets with a bookmaker who’s being investigated by the federal government.


Ohtani’s lawyers accused their client’s former interpreter of “massive theft” in a statement released Wednesday after Mizuhara initially said the two-time MVP helped him pay off gambling debts that reached at least $4.5 million.

Mizuhara admitted to lying and walked back much of what he said, according to ESPN’s Tisha Thompson, who adds Mizuhara said Ohtani had no knowledge of his gambling debts nor did he make any efforts to repay them.

Ohtani is expected to remain on the Dodgers’ active roster during the investigation, according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.