Ohtani denies gambling allegations, "saddened and shocked" by scandal. GETTY IMAGES

Shohei Ohtani and his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, are involved in a gambling case, with the baseball player saying he was "saddened and shocked" after making a direct accusation against Mizuhara.

Baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani, who recently has signed a $700 million (€644 million) contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, made his first public comments on Monday to explain the situation involving him and his former interpreter, after the Major League Baseball (MLB) began investigating both for gambling.

The pitcher and designated hitter claimed he was the victim of a theft and spoke about his former interpreter's gambling problems, which he didn't know about. Speaking through an interpreter, Ohtani said: "I never bet on baseball or any other sport, and I never asked anyone to do it for me, and I never went through a bookmaker to bet on sports."

The scandal erupted last week when Ohtani's attorneys released a statement in response to media inquiries regarding a federal investigation into an alleged illegal bookmaker, with Ohtani's name being implicated. 

Ohtani's lawyers claimed he was the victim of a "massive theft," with ESPN reporting that more than $4.5 million (€4.14 million) was wired from his bank account to the Californian bookmaker under investigation.

MLB's gambling policy prohibits "any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee" from betting on baseball or placing illegal bets on any other sports.

Ohtani described as "a complete lie" what Mizuhara said in an interview on Tuesday, before the scandal appeared to be over, about sending money to a Californian bookmaker to pay off the translator's gambling debts.

"Obviously, I never agreed to pay that debt or any payment to the bookmaker. It was all a complete lie. I didn't know any of this was going on until a few days ago. Ippei stole money from my account and told lies. I'm very sad and shocked that someone who I trusted did this," the 29-year-old told reporters at Dodger Stadium.

The Japanese player, who made his Dodgers debut a month ago, refused to answer reporters' questions and did not explain how Mizuhara had managed to gain access to his bank account and steal the reported $4.5 million.

Ohtani pointed out that he first learned of Mizuhara's gambling problem when the interpreter spoke to the Dodgers' locker room after their victory over the Padres in South Korea last Wednesday, the game in which South Korean autorities received a report of a bomb alert.

"During the team meeting, Ippei spoke English, but I didn't have a translator with me. I kind of understood what was going on and started to feel that something was wrong," Ohtani said.

The baseball player and his former interpreter then had a meeting at the team hotel to discuss the matter. "During the meeting, Ippei admitted that he had used my account to send money to the bookmaker. That's how I feel now: I'm just beyond shocked. It's really hard to put into words how I feel at the moment," Ohtani concluded.