Baseball’s Biogenesis scandal continued to escalate this week as new legal issues arose, and players prepared to fight potential suspensions from the game.
The attorney for Carlos Acevedo, one of the men accused of soliciting players to purchase performance-enhancing drugs in a civil suit brought by Major League Baseball (MLB), filed a motion Saturday to have his client dismissed from the suit because MLB investigators “threatened” and “intimidated” him. A Miami-Dade County Circuit Court will hear the motion Wednesday.
The New York Times reported that Anthony Bosch, owner of the Miami clinic, had asked New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for financial assistance, but the slugger refused to help. Bosch then met with MLB investigators on Friday and agreed to testify against players who had purchased performance-enhancing drugs at his clinic. Rodriguez quickly hired David Cornwell, the same attorney who helped overturn Ryan Braun’s 50-game drug suspension last year.
Some players have used performance-enhancing drugs behind the scenes in baseball since the 1970s, experimenting then with amphetamines and human-growth hormone. The use of steroids became widespread in the 1990s, and the effects became too great to ignore. Home run totals soared—players hit approximately 5,700 home runs in 2000, compared to just 3,300 10 years earlier. Sluggers Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds became the first players in major league baseball history to hit 70-plus home runs in a season.
In 2003, baseball administered an anonymous steroid test to determine the number of players using performance-enhancing drugs. After 104 players tested positive, MLB in 2005 approved mid-season testing and penalties for violators. A 2006 investigation of steroid use implicated more than 80 players.
In January 2013, the Miami New Times broke the story that an anti-aging clinic in Miami was supplying performance-enhancing drugs to more than 20 baseball players. MLB investigators sought to gather enough evidence to ban players, Now, with Bosch’s testimony, they might have the evidence for the biggest sports drug bust ever—but watch for a lengthy battle with the MLB Players Association.