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Dodgers on List of Violators

July 03, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

Because they signed two Cuban players, the Dodgers were included in a U.S. government list of 86 companies that were fined for violating an international trade law, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday on its Web site.

In cases dating to 1998, the Dodgers were fined by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control under the Trading With the Enemy Act. Cuba is among the nations on the "enemies" list that also includes Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

The club reached a $75,000 settlement with OFAC in 1999 for signing the Cubans, who were not identified in the story.

"This is an issue between Major League Baseball as a whole and Cuba and its players," said Derrick Hall, Dodger senior vice president. "We dealt with the proper authorities, came to a settlement and the case has been resolved."

The Dodgers were fined a reported $200,000 in June 1999 by Major League Baseball for signing Juan Carlos Diaz and Josue Perez after the team was accused of holding secret tryouts in Cuba and arranging the players' defections.

The Dodgers were prohibited from re-signing Diaz and Perez, and the players were declared free agents by the Commissioner's office.

Patrick Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, did not identify the players in the Wall Street Journal report. He said the players joined the Dodgers' organization in the Dominican Republic and claimed to be citizens of that Caribbean nation.

The OFAC list included 115 fines totaling $5.8 million, the Wall Street Journal said. The list adds to information the agency disclosed in March, but doesn't include all fines during the period.

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