Allegations of steroid use. Evidence that Major League Baseball paid to obtain. A protracted probe in the Biogenesis scandal by the league.
Cornwell, who also represents catchers Francisco Cervelli of the Yankees and Yasmani Grandal of the San Diego Padres in the investigation, told USA TODAY Sports that the information gathered by paying Biogenesis director Tony Bosch and associates is "irreparably tainted.''
"The conduct of Major League Baseball with the Tony Bosch investigation,'' Cornwell said, "is despicable, unethical and potentially illegal. Paying for evidence. Offering to pay for evidence. Intimidating witnesses.
"One thing we know: that evidence is unreliable. They have tainted the evidence beyond the point that you can rely on it, from their own conduct. And it's because of this hysterical reaction to the concept [that players procured performance-enhancing drugs from Bosch's anti-aging clinic].
According to Tim Elfrink of the Miami New Times, the MLB negotiated with Porter Fischer to purchase documents from the Coral Gables anti-aging clinic that indicated Tony Bosch had sold steroids to professional baseball players.
In that report, Pat Courtney, a spokesman for the MLB, verified that the two sides had negotiated but never reached a deal. Fischer claimed he had been offered $125,000 for the records and a signature on an affidavit.
According to Nightengale and Bell's report, the MLB has previously paid Biogenesis for records.
In the original report from Elfrink for the Miami New Times in January, MLB players Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colón, Nelson Cruz, Alex Rodriguez, Yasmani Grandal, Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Braun had been likely supplied steroids by Biogenesis.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS, the MLB has now started interviewing players in the case, and the league's investigators believe the probe will eventually lead to suspensions for several players.
Several of the players being investigated aren't new to steroids allegations. Alex Rodriguez admitted to using steroids in 2009. Ryan Braun was accused of failing a drug test before it was found that proper protocol hadn't been taken with his test results, and he won his appeal to overturn a 50-game suspension.