Major League Baseball admitted Friday that the league committed an error when it sued a "chemist" the league thought had a black-market performance-enhancing drug connection. The man is a salesman with no drug connections.
Paulo da Silveira was named by MLB in a civil lawsuit filed last month against six individuals it alleged were connected to the South Florida clinic thought to have provided performance-enhancing substances to some of the game's top players.
But on Friday, MLB said it was releasing da Silveira from the complaint, adding: "He had no connection to Biogenesis or to the alleged distribution of performance-enhancing substances to Major League players."
Baseball investigators have targeted Anthony Bosch, operator of the former Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables, as well as several of his associates as sources of performance-enhancing substances for the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz.
Two sources familiar with the case told "Outside the Lines" that MLB was looking for a man with a similar name believed to have been a black-market PED connection for Bosch, though it turned out not to be da Silveira.
"They realize he has no involvement whatsoever with Biogenesis or distributing performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes," said Emil Infante, who represents the 30-year-old da Silveira. "We did our investigation and met with them [MLB]. Once they saw that this guy had nothing to do with this they were really professional in getting it resolved quickly, which obviously was in their best interest."
Infante and his partner, Daniel Zumpano, met Wednesday in Miami with MLB senior counsel Patrick Houlihan and Neil Boland, vice president of information security and special projects.
Infante took particular issue with the lawsuit having described da Silveira as a "little chemist." Asked if his client had a chemistry background, he said: "Hell no, man. Of course not. This kid works in sales. He has no background in science whatsoever."
The attorney described Miami as a "small place" while acknowledging his client knew some of those named in the lawsuit filed by MLB, but added: "Being an acquaintance with somebody and being a chemist are two different things."