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Major League Baseball has filed a lawsuit against Florida clinic Biogenesis and "Dr." Anthony Bosch, accusing them of providing banned performance-enhancing drugs to its players.
In the lawsuit, MLB accuses the defendants of soliciting pro baseball players to purchase banned drugs and otherwise making these drugs available to players. As a result, MLB says that it suffered economic damages such as the loss of goodwill and damage to its reputation, reports The Post Game.
But there's reportedly another reason behind this lawsuit: MLB wants access to several documents, which Bosch allegedly turned over to news outlets, that contain business records of drug sales to players.
The Use of Discovery Rules
Given the fact that Biogenesis is now defunct and likely has very little, if any, assets, MLB's lawsuit is unlikely to recover any economic damages from the company, writes The Post Game. Instead, it's been reported that the sole purpose of the lawsuit is to utilize civil discovery rules to access those business records.
With star players like Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, and Nelson Cruz implicated, the release of these records could potentially upend many major-league rosters.
MLB had been previously thwarted in its efforts to investigate and penalize players suspected of cheating because it lacked the subpoena power to access the Biogenesis business records. However, by suing the now-defunct company, baseball lawyers can take advantage of civil rules of procedure and discovery rules to access the records, Reuters reports.
With a lawsuit, MLB can require the disclosure of all relevant facts and documents of the other side prior to trial. This can take the form of written discovery, document production and depositions.
Without a lawsuit or some other compelling reason, MLB does not have the authority to simply order Biogenesis to open up its business records. So there could be a chance that players who thought they were in the clear could eventually be suspended for their ties to Biogenesis.