Baseball - Ohtani to address theft allegations against interpreter on Monday

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers
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(Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani will address the media on Monday for the first time since his interpreter was fired by the MLB team amid allegations that he stole from the player to pay off gambling debts, the team's manager said on Sunday.

"It's the right thing to do," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters. "I'm happy he's going to speak and speak to what he knows and give his thoughts on the whole situation. I think it will give us all a little bit more clarity."

Roberts said Ohtani had not addressed the situation with his Dodgers team mates as a group, adding he had checked in with the 29-year-old and things appear to be "business as usual."

The Dodgers did not immediately reply when asked by Reuters via email what time and where Ohtani, a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, would speak to the media.

Since the allegations against interpreter Ippei Mizuhara surfaced last week during the Dodgers' season-opening series in Seoul, South Korea, Major League Baseball (MLB) has begun a formal investigation into the matter.

According to a Los Angeles Times report last week, Ohtani's attorneys told the newspaper Mizuhara had used the ball player's funds to pay off an alleged illegal bookmaker, who is reportedly under federal investigation.

Ohtani's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Reuters has been unable to reach Mizuhara for comment.

Ohtani joined the Dodgers last December after signing a $700 million, 10-year contact that brought an end to a high-profile chase for one of the most coveted MLB free agents in recent memory.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)