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(Reuters) - Major League Baseball said on Tuesday it is aware of the arrest of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish's brother over running an illegal gambling ring and have launched a probe to see if there is any connection with its league.
Darvish, who was considered the best pitcher in Japanese baseball when he signed with Texas in 2012, has denied any wrongdoing and said he has never been involved with gambling activities.
"While I understand that Major League Baseball must conduct an investigation, I am certain that they will find that I had no involvement in this matter whatsoever," Darvish, who was the Rangers' top pitcher until an injury forced him to miss the entire 2015 season, said through the Wasserman Media Group.
"I will not comment on this matter again out of respect for Major League Baseball's investigation and I am focused on preparing for the upcoming season."
According to a report in The Japan Times, Darvish was being investigated in the wake of his brother Sho being charged last year for allegedly accepting bets on nearly 2,000 baseball games in North America and Japan.
The report also said Osaka police have not accused the Japanese ace of any wrongdoing and that it is unclear whether any of the bets were taken on games involving the Rangers.
The news comes a day after the tennis world was rocked following reports that authorities had failed to deal with widespread match-fixing.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue