Baseball: Lawsuit filed against doping-linked clinic

Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit Friday against Anthony Bosch and five others connected to a clinic that reportedly has provided performance-enhancing substances to several star players.

The lawsuit in Miami's 11th Circuit Court claims Bosch and others "actively participated in a scheme... to solicit or induce major league players to purchase or obtain (performing-enhancing substances) for their use in violation of" Major League Baseball's anti-doping program.

Bosch, who operated Biogenesis, was named as a defendant along with the now-closed clinic and clinic partners Carlos Acevedo, Ricardo Martinez, Marcelo Albir and Paulo da Silveira.

Also named was Juan Carlos Nunez, who was involved in creating a phony website page for one of the players reportedly involved, Melky Cabrera.

In the lawsuit, the league claims Bosch provided players with testosterone and human growth hormone.

While the filing does not name players, it was Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Gio Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz who were mentioned by Miami New Times, which first revealed the doping links in a January story.

The lawsuit says defendants "intentionally and unjustifiably interfered" with the drug program and damaged the league's reputation.

League officials want "monetary damages and other relief resulting from defendants' tortious interference with MLB's contractual relationships," according to a posting on the league website.

If successful, the leaguye will have an easier time obtaining the information needed to punish any players found to have used performance-enhancing substances.

League attorneys would be allowed to subpoena records from the clinic and compel depositions if the lawsuit is permitted to move forward, such evidence being needed to impose punishments without a positive drug test.

Major League Baseball toughened its testing program in January ahead of the Biogenesis revelations, with year-round blood testing for human growth hormone planned as well as the creation of an "athlete passport" of baseline testosterone levels to compare against future drug tests.