MLB Accused of Bullying Tactics in Ongoing PED Scandal

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2013

Jun 5, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun watches the game from the dugout during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Miller Park. Braun did not start the game because of a thumb injury.   Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It seems not everyone is too keen on Major League Baseball's overzealous investigation tactics with regard to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing-drugs scandal.

According to a report by Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn of ESPN, the lawyer for Carlos Acevedo, a key member of the Biogenesis clinic who was sued by MLB in March, has filed a motion for his client to be dropped from the case. In his injunction, Martin Beguiristain accused MLB of trying to bully Acevedo into complying with the league's PED investigation.

Beguiristain released a statement to ESPN, accusing MLB investigators of multiple strong-arming tactics. Here is an excerpt from that statement:

They haven't sat down with me, much less got anywhere near my client, other than sending investigators to his house to bang on the door. And threatening him and intimidating him. It is like they think they are the federal government. No, they went about this all wrong in regards to my client.

The report also notes that MLB and Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch have officially reached an agreement in regard to his cooperation in the case. Bosch had already reportedly agreed to give MLB officials information on his clientele, but a cooperation agreement will bind both sides to the specifications of their arrangement.

MLB is expected to drop its lawsuit versus Bosch in return for his testimony. Officials have also promised to help Bosch avoid federal criminal charges for his distribution ring, but what influence MLB lawyers have on the matter remains to be seen. 

"I got to hand it to the attorneys for Major League Baseball," Beguiristain said of MLB's involvement with Bosch. "They really did a good job and they got their guy—Bosch. They got him. They got everything they need. They got it all."

Beguiristain claims no such attempt at striking an agreement with Acevedo—a former partner in Biogenesis, the Miami-based wellness clinic accused of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to MLB players—has been made. Acevedo is one of five people involved with Biogenesis that MLB sued in March, claiming the clinic worked to violate player contracts. 

The ESPN report notes that Acevedo could be a key weakness in MLB's case, as he can confirm information Bosch gives to investigators.

ESPN’s T.J. Quinn, Pedro Gomez and Mike Fish broke the news that the commissioner's office, buoyed by its agreement with Bosch, was planning on suspending multiple players involved with Biogenesis—most notably Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. 

Rodriguez and Braun are two of about 20 players expected to be suspended. The commissioner's office launched an investigation into the players' involvement with Biogenesis after January's explosive Miami New Times story exposed the defunct company's drug-distribution ring. Bosch, along with his associates, is accused of providing HGH, steroids and artificial testosterone to many top athletes.

Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon and Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera have also been linked to the clinic. 

Beguiristain said the motion should be heard on Wednesday in Miami. MLB had not yet commented on Acevedo's accusation of bully tactics at the time of publication.