Miami clinic sued over allegations it sold banned drugs to players

MIAMI, March 22 Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:26pm EDT

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MIAMI, March 22 (Reuters) - Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit on Friday against the owner of a Miami-based anti-aging clinic alleging that he damaged the sport by providing banned performance-enhancing drugs to half a dozen professional baseball players.

The lawsuit filed in Florida state court stems from an investigation into the clinic by a weekly Miami newspaper which published excerpts of hand-written records obtained from a confidential source.

The documents appeared to implicate six players, among them New York Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez, one of the highest paid athletes in baseball, and Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz.

The clinic, Biogenesis of America, and its owner, Anthony Bosch, as well as several former business partners, are accused of "interference" with MLB's drug prevention and treatment program under which players are contractually banned from using performance-enhancing drugs.

The lawsuit also names Juan Carlos Nunez, who allegedly served as a link between the clinic and agents for several baseball players.

Bosch's attorney, Susy Ribero-Ayala, did not return calls for comment.

None of the players alleged to have been involved with Biogenesis were mentioned in the lawsuit. All have previously denied any association with Bosch or Biogenesis.

The MLB Players Association union declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also named Marcelo Albir, a former University of Miami baseball player, and Paulo da Silveira, a "self-proclaimed chemist" who allegedly provided drugs to Biogenesis.

The filing asks for "monetary damages and other relief resulting from defendants' tortious interference with MLB's contractual relationships."

The defendants damaged baseball due to the "the costs of investigation, loss of goodwill, loss of revenue and profits, and injury to its reputation," the lawsuit says. (Editing by Richard Chang)

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