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MLB drops lawsuit against Biogenesis and its founder, Anthony Bosch

By Greg Botelho and Quand Thomas, CNN
updated 2:42 AM EST, Wed February 19, 2014
The investigation into Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch led to the suspensions of 14 players, including Alex Rodriguez, above.
The investigation into Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch led to the suspensions of 14 players, including Alex Rodriguez, above.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spokesman: Major League Baseball dismisses its lawsuit against the South Florida clinic
  • It sued in March, saying Biogenesis flouted MLB's anti-doping program
  • MLB's Biogenesis probe led to suspensions for Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and 12 others

(CNN) -- Major League Baseball has dropped its lawsuit against Anthony Bosch and the company the league claims provided performance-enhancing drugs to a number of players, including Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, a league spokesman said Tuesday.

Mike Teevan, an MLB spokesman, said, "We have dismissed our Biogenesis lawsuit." That suit was filed in March against the South Florida clinic and several men associated with it -- led by Bosch -- for allegedly flouting the league's drug prevention program, the pro sports league said.

The lawsuit's dismissal wasn't entirely unexpected.

ESPN had reported that MLB might drop the suit against Bosch if he cooperated in its investigation.

The investigation led to the suspension of 14 players for violating the league's drug policy. Besides Rodriguez, suspended players included Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP.

Baseball's new drug informer

Only one of the players challenged his suspension: Alex Rodriguez. After he called out Commissioner Bud Selig and others in his appeal of a 211-game ban, an arbitrator reduced it to 162 games and the postseason.

The Yankees third baseman sued Major League Baseball, Selig and the players' union to get the ban overturned, claiming the league engaged in vigilante justice during its investigation of Bosch and his Biogenesis anti-aging clinic. But earlier this month, Rodriguez abruptly dropped his suit and accepted his suspension.

After a surge in home runs in the late 1980s and 1990s -- highlighted by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa racing to break Roger Maris' single-season home run record in 1998, followed three years later by Barry Bonds breaking the new record -- Major League Baseball was accused of not doing enough to recognize and combat the use of performance enhancing substances.

The league, in conjunction with its players' union, in recent years has beefed up its drug testing programs and penalties. A number of top-level and minor league players have been suspended as a result, including ex-Red Sox standout Manny Ramirez, for 50 games in 2009.

Biogenesis became part of the story publicly in late January 2013, when the Miami New Times reported that more than a dozen professional baseball players and other athletes had been named in records kept over several years by the clinic.

Two months later, MLB filed its lawsuit against the clinic in Florida's Miami-Dade County.

Its 14-page complaint named Biogenesis, its predecessor company and six individuals -- among them program director Bosch, others at the company, someone who worked at a sports agency, a former University of Miami baseball player and a "self-proclaimed chemist" who supplied substances.

According to Major League Baseball, the accused solicited players, supplied them with drugs and offered dosage recommendations to help them avoid testing positive for banned substances under the league's program.

"(The defendants) knowingly and intentionally caused and/or induced ... players to breach their contractual obligations under MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the complaint said.

CNN's Adam Reiss contributed to this report.

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