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Ohtani plans to speak Monday on allegations surrounding ex-interpreter

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/la-dodgers/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Los Angeles Dodgers;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Los Angeles Dodgers</a> superstar <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/10835/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Shohei Ohtani;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Shohei Ohtani</a> of Japan smiles as he warms up for an exhibition game against the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/teams/la-angels/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Los Angeles Angels;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Los Angeles Angels</a> at Dodger Stadium (Harry How)

Shohei Ohtani remained mum on Sunday on the gambling and theft allegations surrounding his former interpreter, but Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he hoped Ohtani's plans to speak on Monday would bring "clarity."

Japanese superstar Ohtani hasn't spoken publicly since the bombshell allegations that led the Dodgers to sack his long-time interpreter and close friend Ippei Mizuhara.

Ohtani's representatives alleged the star had been the victim of "massive theft" reported to involved millions of dollars and link Mizuhara to a suspected illegal bookmaker in California.

Ohtani batted second in the lineup in the Dodgers' exhibition game against his former team, the Los Angels, on Sunday at Dodger Stadium, briefly telling reporters before the contest he would speak to the media on Monday.

"I think it's good," Roberts said before the game. "I think it's the right thing to do and I'm happy he's going to speak to what he knows and give his thoughts on the whole situation.

"I think it'll give us a little bit more clarity," added Roberts, who said it was Ohtani's decision to make himself available to media on Monday.

Major League Baseball on Friday launched an investigation into the murky affair, which emerged this week when lawyers for Ohtani issued a statement on his behalf after media inquiries about a reported federal investigation into alleged illegal bookmaker Mathew Bowyer in which Ohtani's name surfaced.

But before Ohtani's attorneys alleged theft, Mizuhara had told ESPN that Ohtani had paid off some $4.5 million in gambling debts for Mizuhara -- a story the interpreter later recanted.

Mizuhara said that Ohtani himself never wagered and an attorney for Bowyer told the Los Angeles Times that Bowyer had never had any contact with Ohtani.

Major League Baseball's gambling policy bars "any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee" from betting on baseball or making illegal bets on any other sport.

While sports betting has been legalized in a majority of US states, online betting and retail sports books remain illegal in California, where Bowyer is based.

Ohtani, a sensational two-way star who has been likened to a modern version of Babe Ruth, joined the Dodgers in December on a 10-year deal worth a stunning $700 million after playing six MLB seasons and earning two American League Most Valuable Player awards with the Angels.

Roberts said Ohtani had not formally addressed his Dodgers teammates regarding the affair, although the manager thought he had "had one-off conversations with players."

Roberts said he himself had not discussed the affair in-depth with Ohtani.

"I just kind of checked in on him (to see) how he's doing," Roberts said. "But everything that I've seen -- he's kind of business as usual."

Roberts said he hadn't heard "a lot of conversations and speculation" about the matter in the clubhouse.

"I think athletes by and large have a very good ability to compartmentalize," he said.

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