The MLB Players Association released a statement Thursday morning condemning the continued information leaks in the ongoing Biogenesis PED investigation.
More Biogenesis: Suspensions imminent?
Union head Michael Weiner had some very strong words about the leaks, declaring that they are a "clear violation" of the Joint Drug Agreement and possibly an infringement on the due process rights of each player implicated in the investigation.
Here's the statement in full (emphasis added):
"The leaking of confidential information to members of the media interferes with the thoroughness and credibility of the Biogenesis investigation. These repeated leaks threaten to harm the integrity of the Joint Drug Agreement and call into question the required level of confidentiality needed to operate a successful prevention program.
The Players want a clean game and they demand a testing program that is not only the toughest in professional sports, but one that guarantees each player due process rights accompanied by strict confidentiality provisions.
As I stated last month, the Players Association remains in contact with the Commissioner’s Office regarding the investigation, and they continue to assure us that no decisions regarding discipline will be made until the investigation is complete. It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged the results of the investigation based on unsubstantiated leaks that are a clear violation of the JDA."
While the investigation process into PED accusations is supposed to remain completely confidential until suspensions are publicly announced, and after the player has had a chance to appeal, several stories have emerged in the last few weeks -- including one Wednesday night -- about the league's plans to suspend Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and about 20 others for their involvement with Biogenesis.
It's unclear at the moment how the persistant leaks will affect the results of the investigation, but they seem to be providing the union with a lot of ammunition to use during arbitration hearings should the league attempt to hand out suspensions. The league lost its case against Ryan Braun two years ago because of a technicality involving a break in the chain of custody with his PED test. While an information leak is certainly not the same thing as a mishandled sample, they both involve breaches of process written into the JDA.
Update 2:43 pm: The MLBPA released a clarification on Thursday morning's statement.
Earlier today, the MLBPA issued the below statement from Executive Director Michael Weiner regarding the leaks of information in the Biogenesis investigation. Apparently, some members of the media have interpreted that statement as an accusation against Major League Baseball. The MLBPA has no information about the source of the leaks and we have no information that indicates MLB is the source.
The statement was issued in response to recent news reports with information that should remain confidential under the terms of our collectively bargained Joint Drug Agreement. In the wake of those reports, the MLBPA has fielded numerous press and public inquiries asking for our comments.
The intention of Michael Weiner's statement was only to lament the fact that the leaks had occurred and to encourage the media and the public not to rush to judgment about any Player before MLB's investigation is completed and all of the Players' due process rights under the JDA are satisfied.
Shorter update: the MLBPA wants you to stop trying to pit MLB and the Player's Association against each other on this very sensitive subject.