Members of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle leaked the names of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and his own teammate Francisco Cervelli to the media in the Biogenesis scandal, according to a report by “60 Minutes.”
The leak came days after the Miami New Times published redacted documents from Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch that revealed comprehensive doping regimens for professional athletes including Rodriguez.
Members of Rodriguez’s camp obtained unredacted versions of the documents that contained Braun and Cervelli’s names and sent them to Yahoo! Sports, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Yahoo! first reported Braun’s and Cervelli’s involvement with Biogenesis.
Rodriguez’s lead attorney, David Cornwell, released a statement Friday morning denying the latest allegations:
“These allegations are untrue and are another attempt to harm Alex, this time by driving a wedge between him and other players in the league,” Cornwell said. “While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues. These improper and viciously false leaks will not alter the fact that MLB exceeded its authority under the JDA [Joint Drug Agreement] and the 211 game [suspension] will not stand.”
MLB has evidence showing that Rodriguez obtained documents from the Biogenesis clinic, a key factor in MLB’s decision to hit Rodriguez with a 211-game suspension on Aug. 5, a source familiar with the league’s investigation told “Outside the Lines.” Former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer has told ESPN that several boxes of clinic documents were stolen from his car in March, and some of that material was later sold to MLB. Friday, however, a source confirmed to OTL that MLB was indeed given evidence that Rodriguez had obtained some of those documents, which MLB is apparently prepared to argue was an attempt to prevent investigators from acquiring them. “Outside the Lines” has also reported that MLB obtained information that Rodriguez tried to interfere with at least one witness in the case.
Leaking the documents also would be seen as a violation of MLB’s rules. The league stipulates that information related to the Joint Drug Agreement remains strictly confidential.
In handing down the hefty suspension, it is also believed that the league was convinced that Rodriguez, who admitted PED use from 2001-03 while he played with the Rangers, is a habitual abuser of PEDs.
Braun (65 games) and Cervelli (50), along with 11 other players, have accepted suspensions for their roles in the Biogenesis scandal. However, Rodriguez is appealing his ban that was handed down by MLB commissioner Bud Selig.
Rodriguez’s case is set to be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in the coming weeks. In an interview last week, MLB Players Association head Michael Weiner said he will support Rodriguez’s appeal.
“We feel what he [Selig] did, frankly, was inappropriate and almost ridiculous,” Weiner said. “Look at the penalties that have been [given] out and cases that have been decided by the commissioner’s office along with the players’ association. Nothing comes close to 211 games.”
Selig defended Rodriguez’s suspension Thursday at the owners’ meetings in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“I spent many, many hours thinking about it,” he said. “Trying to be fair, trying to be logical and rational. And the one thing you learn in this job after 20-something years, I wouldn’t second-guess it today at all.
“I know why I did it, and what I did. I thought it was eminently fair then and I think it’s eminently fair today.”
Information from ESPN’s T.J. Quinn was used in this report.
This article was originally posted on ESPN.com