Alex Rodriguez reacts as he walks back to the dugout...

Alex Rodriguez reacts as he walks back to the dugout after flying out in a pinch-hit opportunity in the top of the sixth inning of Game 4 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. (Oct. 18, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Major League Baseball filed a civil lawsuit in Florida court Friday against Biogenesis, accusing the now defunct anti-aging clinic of having "knowingly, intentionally and maliciously interfered'' with its player contracts by allegedly providing players with illegal performance-enhancing substances.

By going the lawsuit route, baseball officials hope to obtain documents that link active players to the agency, which could then lead to their suspensions. The Miami New Times, the first to link players to drugs from Biogenesis, recently denied baseball's request to hand over its documented proof.

Alex Rodriguez and Francisco Cervelli of the Yankees, Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals, Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Melky Cabrera of the Blue Jays are among those who have been linked publicly to Biogenesis and its owner, Anthony Bosch. The all denied receiving performance-enhancing drugs.

None of the players whose alleged ties to Biogenesis have emerged in news reports in recent months are specifically named in the lawsuit. Baseball officials have said they plan to meet with those players soon, a reason for keeping their identities out of the proceedings.

Tigers minor-leaguer Cesar Carrillo was suspended 100 games last week for violating MLB's drug prevention and treatment program. Carrillo's name reportedly surfaced in the Biogenesis documents.

The only former player identified in the lawsuit is Manny Ramirez; the lawsuit says Ramirez's drug suspension in 2009 came as a result of receiving a banned substance provided to him through Bosch.

The Miami New Times previously reported that Bosch personally provided Rodriguez with performance-enhancing substances, which Rodriguez denied. Bosch is one of a handful of defendants named Friday in Major League Baseball's lawsuit; his lawyer did not return a call for comment.

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