SBD/July 7, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Sources: MLBPA Hires Lawyer To Investigate Agent Conduct During Biogenesis Scandal

The MLBPA is "conducting an investigation into the role some agents might have played in the Biogenesis doping scandal that rocked the sport last year," according to sources cited by T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com. Sources said that the MLBPA retained veteran attorney Robert Muse to "run the investigation several months ago," and he and his staff are "expected to issue a report within the next few weeks." Sources said that the "two primary subjects of the investigation" have been L.A.-based CAA, where agent Nez Balelo represents Brewers RF Ryan Braun, and N.Y.-based ACES, run by longtime agents Seth and Sam Levinson. Sources said that at least "two other agencies are part of the probe as well." Sources added that the investigation also has "looked into charges of client poaching." MLBPA General Counsel David Prouty "declined to confirm the existence of the investigation." However, sources said that Muse's investigation is "looking into whether the Levinsons were indeed aware" of ACES agent Juan Carlos Nunez' work "as a leg man" for Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch or his part in Blue Jays LF Melky Cabrera's fake website to explain a failed drug test (ESPN.com, 7/3). MLBPA Exec Dir Tony Clark on Thursday said, "The great thing is that in any number of conversations I've had with our agent community, 99.9 percent of them are committed to the same thing, and that's the best representation of the players. We are looking into any ways that we can continue to provide the best support and best representation we can for guys." YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Passan cited a union official as calling "the community 'the wild, wild West,' with daily allegations of agents trying to buy clients with cash or other inducements." Passan noted how Muse intends to "tackle client poaching -- a scourge not just in baseball but across the professional-sports landscape -- is a bigger question." Parsing "he-said, he-said arguments is not easy, especially when the players themselves -- particularly minor leaguers who are paid a pittance -- are willing participants in the impropriety" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/3).
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