Monday, September 30, 2013
Investigation launched into Biogenesis
MIAMI -- State authorities in Florida have launched a criminal investigation into the now-closed clinic at the center of Major League Baseball's latest performance-enhancing drug scandal, a spokesman for Miami-Dade County's chief prosecutor said Monday.
"A subpoena was issued for documents and we are looking into several areas of state interest," said Ed Griffith, spokesman for State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
Griffith would not go into further specifics but said the state probe into Biogenesis of America and its former chief, Anthony Bosch, differed from a federal grand jury investigation into the clinic. The federal probe involves the sources of drugs the clinic is accused of selling to players, most notably one-time MVP Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and longtime star Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.
Existence of the state prosecutors' criminal subpoena was disclosed at a recent hearing of MLB's lawsuit in Miami against Biogenesis, also pending in Miami-Dade County court. It's not known who the subpoena targeted or what specific documents are being sought.
MLB claims in the lawsuit that Biogenesis and Bosch, along with others, created a violation of the players' contracts by supplying them with banned substances. It seeks unspecified damages, although it's unlikely that Bosch or others involved in the clinic have much in the way of resources.
Disclosure of the latest criminal investigation came on the same day that Rodriguez, a three-time American League Most Valuable Player, began his appeal of MLB's 211-game suspension stemming from the Biogenesis case. The players' union says that penalty is excessive, which an arbitrator must decide.
Earlier this year, Braun accepted a 65-game suspension for doping in the Biogenesis case, the first of several players linked to the clinic to do so. Braun starred at the University of Miami, a short distance from the Biogenesis office, before his major league career.