Hoping to build cases and eventually suspend players who might have been supplied performance-enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit in state court against six employees and associates of Biogenesis and Biokem, alleging the South Florida-based anti-aging clinics helped damage the sport.
The lawsuit was filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade County on Friday and is an attempt to solve the longstanding problem baseball has had trying to discipline players who have been linked to PEDs but have not tested positive for banned substances.
“We believe we have a legitimate legal claim against the defendants,” MLB vice president Rob Manfred told USA Today, “and we intend to pursue it vigorously.”
Among those charged in the complaint: Anthony Bosch, program director of Biogenesis and Biokem; Juan Carlos Nunez, a former employee of agents Sam and Seth Levinson of ACES; Carlos Acevedo and Ricardo Martinez, two senior officers at the clinics; self-acclaimed chemist Paulo Da Silveira; and former University of Miami pitcher Marcelo Albir, who played at the school from 2004 to ’06.
“Due to the defendants’ actions, MLB has suffered damages, including the costs of investigation, loss of goodwill, loss of revenue and profits and injury to its reputation, image, strategic advantage and fan relationships,” according to the complaint.
While the suit says MLB seeks to recoup about $15,000 from those named, the league is hoping that the lawsuit forces those connected to the Biogenesis and Biokem clinics to fully cooperate with its investigators, perhaps leading to widespread suspensions. Citing a baseball official with direct knowledge of the investigation, USA Today reported there are at least 90 players whose names appear in the Biogenesis clinical records.
Former Hurricanes pitcher Cesar Carrillo, now in the minors with the Tigers, is the only player who has been disciplined for his connections to Biogenesis. He received a 100-game suspension last week after speaking to baseball investigators.
USA Today reported that the Major League Players Association has contacted all the players or the agents of players whose names surfaced in the records, but no major-league player has been interrogated by MLB officials yet.
The Miami New Times, which originally reported the relationship between Biogenesis and the athletes, announced last week that it would not turn its documents over to MLB officials. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Melky Cabrera of the Blue Jays are among the biggest names linked to the clinic.