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Kasten said MLB is responsible for checking the documents of Latin American prospects and that Gonzalez was given the OK -- twice, both at the time of his signing and then again in 2007 after Kasten said he heard rumors of "irregularities ... whether it was the amount of money or where the money wound up going or whatnot."
In recent years, several players in the majors and minors such as Miguel Tejada, Rafael Furcal and Bartolo Colon were found to be older than originally thought.
Most of the discrepancies involved players from Latin American countries, and were discovered when visas, birth certificates and other documentation were checked more closely following the Sept. 11 attacks.
"In the Dominican, you never know. You just never know anymore. That (stuff has) been going on for so long," Rijo, the 1990 World Series MVP for the Cincinnati Reds, said of players lying about their ages.
Asked whether he had ever seen Gonzalez's documents, Rijo said: "You see a document, but you're going to see a real or a fake one, anyway. It doesn't matter. But you've got to go through Major League Baseball before you can get the kid to sign. "
Shortly after those comments, the Nationals announced that Kasten would be the only member of the organization, including Bowden, who would speak about the matter.
Bowden met last year with FBI investigators looking into an alleged scam involving skimming signing bonuses for prospects from the Dominican Republic.
Kasten credited MLB's department of investigations -- established after a recommendation in the Mitchell Report -- with uncovering the hoax.
"It was kind of amazing how we finally broke through and got someone to confess," Kasten said, "and then the dominoes started falling."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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