Pete Rose is being investigated by major league baseball over "serious allegations" that, according to a source, could result in a suspension for the Cincinnati Reds manager.

Rose's gambling reportedly is the subject of the investigation, revealed Monday in a statement by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and Commissioner-elect A. Bartlett Giamatti."The office of the commissioner, which was founded to preserve the integrity of the game, has for several months been conducting a full inquiry into serious allegations involving Mr. Pete Rose," the statement said.

The statement made no mention of any possible action against Rose, noting major league baseball's investigation isn't complete. But a baseball source, who asked not to be identified, said a suspension is a possibility.

John M. Dowd, a trial lawyer with the Washington firm of Heron, Burchette, Ruckert & Rothwell, is leading the investigation as special counsel to the commissioner. Dowd, 47, headed a Justice Department organized crime task force from 1972 to 1978 and led investigations of the FBI and of former Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Flood.

Dowd said he has been investigating Rose for about a month. He said he didn't know how much longer the inquiry will last.

Rose and Reds general manager Murray Cook declined comment on the investigation.

Rose, normally outspoken, answered all questions about the investigation with "no comment," then apologized for being tight-lipped.

Rose was summoned to New York last month for what the commissioner's office termed a meeting to get Rose's advice on an undisclosed matter. Rose's gambling reportedly was a subject at the meeting Feb. 20.