MLB: Drug investigation ongoing
NEW YORK — Major League Baseball’s lawyers issued subpoenas to Federal Express, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA in an attempt to gain records for its investigation of players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs.
The subpoenas were issued May 23, according to a civil case file in Florida’s Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, where MLB sued Biogenesis of America, anti-aging clinic head Anthony Bosch and five others in March.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Bud Selig said MLB’s “very comprehensive” probe proves that baseball has the toughest drug policy in professional sports.
MLB asked Federal Express to turn over shipment records for Biogenesis, Bosch, the other defendants and a long list of individuals who appeared to be affiliated with Bosch.
MLB asked the phone companies for call records, texts and subscriber info for the phones of Juan Carlos Nunez, an associate of outfielder Melky Cabrera who was banned from big league clubhouses last year, and Porter Fischer, who was affiliated with the now-closed clinic.
In addition, a subpoena was issued for Biogenesis and related entities in March, seeking records involving major leaguers and 70 banned substances. No players were mentioned by name.
MLB hopes Bosch will provide information implicating players in the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs, and Bosch agreed this week to cooperate. Because any discipline could be challenged by the players’ association in grievances before an arbitrator, MLB likely would want records to corroborate any testimony.
There was no indication in the files whether the companies planned to challenge the subpoenas.
“FedEx complies with all valid subpoenas, and we are unable to comment further,” company spokesman Scott Fiedler said.
Said AT&T spokesman Marty Richter: “We respond to all lawfully issued subpoenas.”
T-Mobile spokeswoman Anne Marshall said the company is looking into the request and has no comment.
MLB opened its latest drug investigation following a Miami New Times report about Biogenesis in January. Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Cabrera are among the players whose names appeared in Biogenesis documents, according to various media reports. All have denied any wrongdoing.
Selig, speaking at the MLB draft Thursday night in New Jersey, declined to provide any details.
“We’re in the midst of a very comprehensive investigation and it would be inappropriate for me to comment and therefore I won’t,” he said in between announcing first-round picks at the podium. “I’m proud of the fact we have the toughest drug-testing program, and you know what? This proves it.”
Rodriguez, meanwhile, plans to “monitor” developments in the investigation, and New York Yankees teammate Derek Jeter said he’ll comment after A-Rod does.
MLB has already started interviewing players linked to Biogenesis.
“Myself and others are being mentioned in a media report before the process is even concluded,” Rodriguez said Thursday in a statement issued by his new spokes-man, Ron Berkowitz. “I will monitor the situation and comment when appropriate. As I have said previously, I am working out every day to get back on the field and help the Yankees win a championship. I am down here doing my job and working hard and will continue to do so until I’m back playing.”
The All-Star third baseman is recovering from the hip surgery he underwent in January and regularly works out at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.
After the Miami New Times story was published, Rodriguez issued a statement through spokesman Terry Fahn saying: “Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”
Rodriguez did not stop to speak with reporters before or after Thursday’s workout in Tampa, where there was heavy rain from Tropical Storm Andrea.
But Jeter did, saying he had spoken with A-Rod and that he seemed “fine,” but wouldn’t go into further details.
“You guys know what I’m going to say,” the rehabbing Yankees captain said. “I do not comment on anyone’s situation until they comment on it first. Let him speak about it first.”
Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, recovering from a broken hand, also was at the training complex. He said in February he consulted with Biogenesis after a foot injury but did not receive any treatment.
“I’ve got nothing” to add, Cervelli said.