Wednesday, March 11, 2009
MLB investigates alleged DR age discrepancies
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Major League Baseball is investigating more than 40 cases involving Dominican Republic prospects suspected of lying about their age upon signing professional contracts, according to the league's vice president of international affairs.
Lou Melendez said Wednesday the request came from the U.S. consulate in the Dominican Republic as a result of a new State Department policy.
Consulate spokesman David Searby said he could not immediately comment.
"They have asked us to investigate, and we have detected around 42 cases of possible irregularities related to the real age of these young men," said Melendez, who also is Puerto Rico's general manager during the World Baseball Classic.
The investigation began a week ago.
Several Latino players have said they lied about their ages in recent years, including Vladimir Guerrero and Miguel Tejada.
Melendez said players found lying about their age could face a cancellation or temporary revocation of their visas. The State Department would make that decision, he said.
The widening of MLB's investigation was first reported by ESPN.com.