The Miami New Times announced Tuesday that it has denied a request from Major League Baseball to hand over documents the newspaper obtained from a Miami-based clinic that name approximately two dozen players who had been linked to possible use of performance enhancing drugs.
Chuck Strouse, the editor of the publication, explained the reason for refusing to provide the documents that the MLB requested:
History plays a role in our decision. So do journalistic ethics and the fact that we have already posted dozens of records on our website. Finally, there is a hitherto-unreported Florida Department of Health criminal probe into clinic director Anthony Bosch.
Strouse also said the decision was made in part because of commissioner Bud Selig's relationship with Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who Strouse said uses a "big-league team as a front for squeezing money from taxpayers."
The documents obtained by the paper name a number of prominent baseball players, including Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon, as just a few of the athletes who had reportedly visited the Miami-based Biogenesis in order to allegedly receive HGH and testosterone. The clinic has shut down since the Times report was published in January.
As Gabe Lacques of USATodaySports.com points out, even if the Times did hand over the documents, it would have been difficult for Selig and the league to take action against any of the players named in the reports:
In the absence of a positive test, MLB would have been forced to suspend any of the players based on a "non-analytical positive" that requires it to show a player acquired or used banned substances through other means.