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Report: MLBPA investigating possible role of agents in Biogenesis scandal

Jul 3, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT

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Thought we were done talking about Biogenesis? Nope, not yet.

According to T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com, the Major League Baseball Players Association is currently conducting an investigation into the role some agents might have played in Biogenesis. If you have followed this story, the subjects of the investigation shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The MLB Players Association, which certifies player agents, retained veteran Washington attorney Robert Muse to run the investigation several months ago, the sources said, and he and his staff are expected to issue a report within the next few weeks.

According to sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the two primary subjects of the investigation have been the ACES agency out of Brooklyn, run by longtime agents Seth and Sam Levinson, and CAA in Los Angeles, where agent Nez Balelo represents Ryan Braun. Braun, who plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, accepted a 65-game suspension for PED use last year.

If the agents are found to have been complicit or to have violated their duties, they could face decertification, although the MLPBA’s agent regulations also allow for lesser penalties.

As Quinn notes, 10 out of the 25 major and minor league players with Biogenesis ties were clients of ACES. ACES was previously investigated after Melky Cabrera was suspended for testosterone in 2012 and tried to create a fake website to explain his positive test. The man behind that scheme was Juan Carlos Nunez, an employee at ACES. Seth and Sam Levinson were eventually cleared of any wrong-doing. However, this new investigation aims to see if the Levinsons had any knowledge of Nunez’s ties to Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch or his work in setting up the fake website for Cabrera.

If Muse’s name rings a bell, well, it should. He has worked as committee counsel on a number of high-profile investigations, including Watergate and Hurricane Katrina.

Seth Levinson issued the following statement exclusively to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish earlier this evening:

“Biogenesis has been thoroughly investigated and there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on our part. In August of last year, Michael Weiner, the Executive Director of the MLBPA put it best, when he said that “despite all of the new evidence none of it linked Sam or Seth (or their assistants) in any way to the use of PEDs.” We prefer not to revisit the past.

As a reminder, all of the players involved in Biogenesis were interviewed and to a man, said that we knew nothing and had nothing to do with the mistakes they made. Michael Weiner stated that “from our perspective, there is no evidence Sam and Seth have been involved in anything directly. No one said “Sam and Seth set me up. Sam and Seth knew what was going on.’ Michael Weiner added that all of the players who accepted their suspensions ‘were all tied to Nunez.'”

  1. tfbuckfutter - Jul 3, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    The more you pick the more you find.

    The trick is stopping before getting to someone related to you.

    • Caught Looking - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      Unless it’s picking at a scab

  2. Jason @ IIATMS - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Yet somehow the mirror does not work for MLB’s super skeevy dealings in all this.

    • sabatimus - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      I bet investigating any potentially illegal act by MLB goes against the collective bargaining agreement.

      • mikhelb - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        No, MLB can investigate but only MLB can order an investigation, with people appointed by MLB and a board of people elected by Selig himself and they can take decisions. It is what they did when they decided to fire the last commisioner before Selig and they decided to appoint an owner (Bud) to protect their interests. It is a joke when that happens but alas is in their constitution.

  3. thetigerleg - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Early reports had just about every sport involved, football, baseball, basketball, even golf and big time HS football. Nothing ever happened outside of MLB, who went to the mat and threw integrity out the window. Makes me wonder if the other sports were happy to bury the whole thing rather than bury any of their stars.

  4. quintjs - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    I would be interested in Craig or someone weighing in on that statement as the obvious thing is at no point was there a denial. It was all ‘no evidence’. Now I know that doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot its just curious to me you issue a denial without actually denying anything. You would think logically you would state something along the lines of innocence, didn’t do it, clean, nothing to hide all that jazz. Is it a fear of prosecution like Bonds/ Clemens, just a really odd statement, or they are actually guilty and are hiding behind no evidence of their crimes.

    • mikhelb - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      “We did nothing illegal because Weiner said we didn’t”.

  5. campcouch - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    They should investigate why the stadiums are empty.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 4, 2014 at 5:14 AM

      Attendance is down 234 people per game compared to this point last year. Yeah, real empty stadiums there.

      • lazyhorse420 - Jul 4, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        I guess you haven’t figured out how this sarcasm thing works yet.

    • sandmike - Jul 4, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      I know it would ruffle some feathers but if you want full stadiums MLB should make PED’s mandatory for all players. I realize there may be some backlash but it should really be about the fans.

  6. paperlions - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    This is a weird investigation. Agents offer services to their clients, if their clients WANT to use PEDs and they facilitate that (while questionable judgement), is that really a violation of their duties to their clients? It isn’t like agents are getting players to take PEDs without the players knowledge or that they are pushing them to do so. If anything, it may be that some agents were aware of the actitivites….but what are they supposed to do? Report it to MLB or the MLBPA? Of course not.

    This just looks like the MLBPA trying to fry someone else for their own members’ mistakes.

    • mikhelb - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      “but what are they supposed to do? Report it to MLB or the MLBPA? Of course not.”

      Yes, that’s part of the agreement peer the current constitution (and overall they would be failing to inform authorities of an illegal activity, ie: buying illegal substances). Funny how you ask something only to answer it yourself as if it were an universal truth.

      ” if their clients WANT to use PEDs and they facilitate that (while questionable judgement), is that really a violation of their duties to their clients?”

      Yes, it violates their duties as intermediaries with MLB, they are not just agents of a player, by violating their agreement with MLB they can get their license issued by MLB suspended.

      • paperlions - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        MLB does not certify agents, the MLBPA does. It isn’t up to MLB who is and who is not an agent. Agents are representatives of players, not intermediaries of between players and MLB…that is like saying lawyers are intermediaries between the accused and the courts. They are representatives and advocates that work FOR the players, not for MLB or the MLBPA. Feel free to cite the appropriate document that states that agents must inform authorities of illegal activities…..and MLB is NOT an authority and neither is the MLBPA.

      • mazblast - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        By continuing as agents for players whom they know are violating MLB’s explicit rules, the agents are de facto complicit. Even the Sergeant Schultz defense–“I see NOTHING, I hear NOTHING, I know NOTHING”–doesn’t work.

        IMO they don’t have to inform MLB or the MLBPA when they know this is happening (unless the collective bargaining agreement says they must), but they should withdraw.

  7. disgracedfury - Jul 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    So MLB was dragged to Congress and made fun of and Selig was told to resign so now MLB want to throw everybody but themselves under the bus.

    MLB stole illegal documents and were told by the police not to buy them, harassed witnesses, gave money and protection to a drug dealer(Bosch),looked the other way during the PED era, allowed A-Rod to take testosterone,Leaked info during A-Rod trial and yet they are trying to pretend they are clean enough to stop PED users.

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