Ex-coach’s lawyer seeks MLB records in drug case
MIAMI (AP) A lawyer for a former University of Miami pitching coach is seeking a wide range of Major League Baseball records for the coach’s upcoming trial on illegal performance-enhancing drug distribution charges, including details of an immunity deal given to the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.
Frank Quintero Jr. wants a federal judge to order MLB and the Miami U.S. attorney’s office to turn over the records for the defense of the ex-coach, Lazaro ”Laser” Collazo, in the case centered on the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic. Quintero claims in a motion filed Thursday that his previous requests for the documents have been refused.
The documents, Quintero said in court papers, ”go directly to the heart of the charges against Mr. Collazo” and could show how much MLB has influenced his prosecution – allegedly by paying witnesses, buying stolen documents and influencing witness testimony.
”The full extent of MLB’s involvement in the present investigation and the prosecution of Mr. Collazo is yet unknown,” Quintero said.
MLB said in a statement Friday: ”We have no comment beyond that there is absolutely no truth to these claims.”
A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez served a season-long suspension this year for violating MLB’s drug agreement and labor contract. He has admitted to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration he used steroids provided by Biogenesis and its former owner, Anthony Bosch, according to court documents.
Rodriguez is expected to testify against Collazo and others if the trial goes forward as scheduled Feb. 9. Quintero said details about A-Rod’s immunity deal with prosecutors are important to the defense.
Eight other current or former players, including Manny Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera also have been given immunity.
Bosch, who pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing, was given a number of benefits by MLB in exchange for his cooperation. Court documents show these include paying his attorneys’ fees, protecting him from any player lawsuits and paying for bodyguards at up to $2,400 a day.
In his motion, Quintero said evidence has surfaced through discovery provided so far that MLB provided Bosch with other benefits, such as more than $30,500 in child support payments and an undefined consulting job.
Also facing trial in February with Collazo is Yuri Sucart, a cousin of Rodriguez’s, and others accused of supplying testosterone and human growth hormone to MLB players and other athletes, including minors. The defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have said Rodriguez ”has prominent role in the government’s proof” against Sucart.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.
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