It appears that Major League Baseball has dropped its lawsuit against Biogenesis, a now defunct anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Florida. Coral Gables is located just southwest of downtown Miami. The clinic was at the center of baseball’s most recent “steroid scandal.” Players began receiving suspensions in 2012 for their involvement with Biogenesis, the culmination of which was the historic 211-game suspension of New York Yankees’ star third baseman Alex Rodriguez on August 5, 2013.
Of course as we know, Rodriguez appealed his suspension which was reduced to 162-games plus any 2014 post season games. Though the actual story about the Biogenesis lab was broken by the Miami New Times in January 2013, players connected to the clinic were being suspended near the end of the 2012 season.
The first of the major league players suspended in 2012 for 50 games each were Oakland Athletics’ pitcher Bartolo Colon, San Francisco Giants’ outfielder Melky Cabrera and San Diego Padres’ catcher Yamani Grandal. Both Colon and Cabrera began serving their 50-game suspensions in 2012 with Colon’s lasting until the first five games of the 2013 season.
But when the story broke in January 2013, 14 more players were connected to Biogenesis and proceedings for the suspensions began. Ryan Braun, former National League MVP and Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder, was the first to be suspended for 65-games or what was the remainder of the 2013 season. Braun reportedly made a deal with MLB when he was shown the evidence they had against him.
After that, 12 other players were handed out 50-game suspensions that were not eligible for appeal. The list of players included Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, Johnny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers and Francisco Cerevelli of the New York Yankees. Two players on the list Gio Gonzalez, of the Washington Nationals and Danny Valencia, then a player for the Boston Red Sox, were among the original list of players named, but both were cleared of any wrongdoing.
The 13 player suspensions are the most to be imposed simultaneously in the history of organized baseball. The previous record was in 1919 when eight of the 1919 Red Sox, later remembered as the “Black Sox,” were given lifetime bans for throwing the World Series under former federal judge and the first Commissioner of Baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
MLB officially filed its lawsuit against Biogenesis of America, its owner Anthony Bosch and several other individuals in late March of 2013. The lawsuit accused Biogenesis and Bosch of conspiring with players to violate their contracts through the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The lawsuit against Biogenesis sought unspecified monetary damages.
So why would MLB decide now to drop its lawsuit? The accusations are true that Biogensis employees supplied MLB players with PED. MLB could have profited off of winning the lawsuit.
Or maybe it wouldn’t have. Large lawsuits can be quite expensive. The filing of the lawsuit, however, allowed MLB the ability to subpoena the clinic’s records that helped head the MLB officials catch the PED offenders. They could then suspend them and begin a real attempt at cleaning up the game.
MLB also conveniently waited until Rodriguez dropped his lawsuit against MLB and the Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA) and accepted his suspension. It is possible that MLB kept its lawsuit pending until this time in the event that they might have needed more evidence against Rodriguez in order to emerge victorious from the fray.
Regardless of why MLB decided to drop its lawsuit, it was announced Wednesday by MLB lawyer, Matthew Menchel that the league officially had done so.