In the wake of last year's Biogenesis case, which resulted in the drug-related suspensions of 14 players and a season-long ban of Alex Rodriguez, Major League Baseball on Thursday announced a "restructuring" within its Department of Investigations.
Five members of that department, including two of its top executives, are leaving the unit in a shakeup first reported by The New York Times. A source confirmed that Dan Mullin, the senior vice president of investigations, and George Hanna, the senior director of investigations, are among the group.
Both were hired in 2008 after the Mitchell Report -- the inquiry into performance-enhancing drug use in baseball led by Sen. George Mitchell -- recommended the creation of the Department of Investigations (DOI) for what it determined to be a growing PED problem. On Thursday, MLB revealed a shift in those plans.
"At the time of its formation, the DOI's primary focus was investigations related to the use, possession or distribution of performance-enhancing substances," MLB said in a statement. "In ensuing years, the focus of the DOI has related not only to performance-enhancing drugs but increasingly wide-ranging areas.
"In response to these evolving needs, Major League Baseball felt compelled to restructure in order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its investigative capabilities."
What remains unclear is to what extent the fallout from the Rodriguez case -- and his legal team's allegations of misconduct leveled at Major League Baseball -- may have impacted the department's restructuring.
In A-Rod's lawsuit against Major League Baseball, which later was dropped, he accused them of "abusive investigative tactics," including payouts to witnesses and an improper sexual liaison. But in the final ruling of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, he wrote that Rodriguez's claims were "unfounded" and should not have been considered in the decision.