MLB Tactics Used in Biogenesis Investigation Revealed
Credit to Sports Illustrated for the photo
The MLB has taken the sports world by storm, suspending thirteen players for their use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Among the suspended players is New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who will miss a total of 211 games, pending his appeal. But unlike the majority of MLB suspensions, which are enacted based on a positive drug test, the newest batch of suspensions is being referred to as “non-analytic positives” – meaning the MLB has gathered enough information to prove the players used PEDs despite not failing a drug test. This has been used as a defense in the past, however this was usually involving shipments of human-growth hormones (HGH). But the MLB has adapted to the changing world and its investigating arm used many online tools to advance its extensive investigation.
Biogenesis of America, a former rejuvenation clinic, was first exposed as a front for supplying PEDs to players when a fired employee, Porter Fischer leaked the records of his boss, Anthony Bosch, after a financial dispute. The Associated Press reported that the league hired 30 employees to investigate the clinic, and obtain electronic proof that they supplied PEDs to active players. Ex-NYC police officer Dan Mullin was appointed the leader of the MLB Department of Investigation (launched in 2008 after the Mitchell Report), and led the Biogenesis case.
The Associated Press writes that “baseball investigators examined the Facebook pages of Bosch and Fisher…They began to sketch out which people they were friends with, and which of those friends posted photos of athletes or mentioned athletes. Each link led to new loops that provided leads.” MLB lawyers issued subpoenas to FedEx and various cell phone companies, and “evidence included the BlackBerry instant message transcripts and records of text messages,” according to the AP. Many of these are tools available to laypeople and commonly used by private investigators. As CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart stated, “even without the powers of law enforcement – wiretaps, search warrants – you can still have success in obtaining these documents.”
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