Sources: MLB Finds No Evidence A-Rod Paid For Documents Linking Him To PEDs
MLB's investigation into South Florida-based Biogenesis of America found "no physical evidence to connect" Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez to payments to a former clinic employee "to prevent the release of potentially damaging documents," according to sources cited by Quinn & Fish of ESPN.com. A source said that a N.Y. Times report that MLB investigators had evidence Rodriguez bought documents from a Biogenesis employee "was not correct." Sources said that clinic founder Anthony Bosch paid former employee Michael Porter Fisher $20,000, but "refused to pay an additional $4,000 that Fischer said he was owed." Sources said that Bosch "informed Rodriguez that Fischer was threatening to expose the operation, and Rodriguez gave Bosch at least $4,000 'to make it go away.'" Sources said that MLB's "ability to call witnesses it has paid money to for information could be called into question (or compromised) in any potential court or arbitration proceeding" (ESPN.com, 4/13). In N.Y., Michael Schmidt in the original report cited sources as saying that former Biogenesis employees and associates told MLB that Rodriguez "arranged to purchase documents from the clinic to keep them out of the hands of baseball officials." That led MLB to "conclude that other players linked to the clinic would also attempt to buy documents to conceal incriminating evidence and accelerated baseball’s own efforts to purchase as many documents as it could." A source said that MLB may "ultimately choose to focus on testimony it has obtained from a number of the clinic’s former employees rather than the documents if it proceeds with efforts to discipline Rodriguez or other players." Sources said that the former employees "were paid for the time they spent talking with baseball’s investigators ... with the payments not believed to have exceeded several thousand dollars" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/13).
MIDDLE MEN: In N.Y., Thompson, Madden, O'Keeffe & Vinton cited sources as saying that an associate of Bosch "made the documents available" to MLB and players named in the documents. The sources said that the associate "used two South Florida businessmen to contact MLB officials and the players to see if they would be interested in bidding on the documents." One source described the transactions by Rodriguez, MLB and possibly other players as "a situation where these people are out there soliciting bids, treating this stuff like it's baseball memorabilia." Sources said that Rodriguez "allegedly took up the offer ... and sent his own intermediary to retrieve the documents." MLBers who "buy or attempt to buy incriminating documents could be suspended" for violating the league's drug program (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/13). In Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt wrote, "One thing is clear: MLB is not going to give up on this investigation until every possible avenue has been explored" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL, 4/14).