Few connected with the Miami wellness clinic Biogenesis are in a hurry to share crucial info with Major League Baseball investigators, and the New York Times’ Michael Schmidt reports MLB’s new tactic for Friday will be a lawsuit against the clinic’s owner, Anthony Bosch, and Juan Nunez, an associate of player agents Sam and Seth Levenson.
The suit is an attempt to solve the longstanding problem that Major League Baseball has faced in trying to discipline players who have been linked to doping but have not tested positive for a banned substance. After a 2007 report by former Senator George J. Mitchell detailed widespread use of performance enhancers by major league players, Commissioner Bud Selig created a department of investigations — composed of former law enforcement officials — to better police the sport.
But to make a doping case against players who have not tested positive, the investigators need documentary evidence or witness testimony. And because the investigators do not have law enforcement privileges, like subpoena power, they have had little leverage in trying to build cases against players that would lead to suspensions.
So now baseball is trying a new tactic. A lawsuit, if allowed to proceed, would give the sport the ability to subpoena records from the clinic, which is now closed, and compel depositions. Some of the information uncovered could then conceivably be used by baseball to justify disciplinary actions against players.