The former owner of a Florida anti-aging clinic filed a lawsuit Thursday against Major League Baseball, charging that the league used dirty tactics, including illegal hacking, to take down his business during the 2013 Biogenesis investigation. The investigation led to the suspensions of more than a dozen players, including the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez.
The suit, filed by lawyers for Neiman Nix in Manhattan’s Southern District Court, names MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and former commissioner Bud Selig, MLB investigator Awilda Santana and MLB vice president of information security Neil Boland.
The 16-page document alleges that MLB destroyed Nix’s business and reputation by linking him to the Biogenesis scandal and took hold of his YouTube, Facebook and PayPal accounts, making him unable to promote his Miami Beach-based “DNA Sports Performance Lab” or accept payments. The business eventually faltered.
The suit, however, states that Nix and DNA Sports Lab did use Bioidentical Insulin such as Growth Factor (“IGF-1”), which is derived from elk antlers. IGF-1 is on baseball’s list of banned substances.
Nix and his lab sued MLB, Major League Baseball Properties, Major League Baseball Enterprises, Selig and Santana on Feb. 18, 2014, in Florida state court, alleging defamation, slander and tortious interference. MLB senior vice president of investigations Dan Mullin and senior director of investigations George Hanna also were defendants. Mullin and Hanna were terminated by MLB two years ago. The case was dismissed Nov. 6, 2014.
“At that time the case wasn’t ripe,” Vincent White, Nix’s new lawyer, said Thursday. “Frankly, the cooperation of the investigators we have today makes or breaks this matter.”
White said Thursday that former MLB investigator Edward Dominguez will testify that members of MLB’s investigative squad were told not to cooperate with DEA officials.
MLB issued a statement Thursday calling the suit “frivolous.”
“Mr. White’s purported source for this lawsuit is a disgruntled MLB employee who was terminated for a cause,” the statement said.
Nix, a pitcher, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 29th round in 1998. In the suit, he claims to have pitched in the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization.
“Mr. White has been threatening to file this lawsuit for months in an attempt to coerce MLB into paying his client,” MLB’s statement said. “MLB considers the allegations relating to the hacking of DNA Sports Lab’s social media accounts to be sanctionable under New York law.”