Miami New Times has declined a request by Major League Baseball to share records tying several players to an anti-aging clinic which allegedly supplied them with performance-enhancing drugs.
“The reasons are manifold,” said editor Chuck Strouse in a blog post explaining the decision:
A month ago, I opposed both the newspaper’s lawyer and the article’s author, Tim Elfrink, and wanted to give the records to baseball. I hoped to see A-Roid and the others punished and believed walking the ethical line was the only way to make that action happen. But then I began pondering the precedents that would set. First, we would be handing over the product of our reporting to a for-profit group with a seamy past. What if baseball improperly used our work? What if it decided to punish some players and not others?
Second, we would be sending the wrong message to future anonymous sources who might want to give us records. Our source for this article fears for his safety. How could we subject him to greater risk by losing control of the information he had provided?
MLB officials had requested the documents in the wake of a New Times cover story which showed that the names of several high-profile players, including Alex Rodriguez, appeared in the clinic’s client lists.
The paper has posted redacted versions of the documents â€” with the names of non-athletes blacked out â€” on its website. “If a lawyer, developer, or my barber wants to use testosterone, human growth hormone, or some other performance enhancer, that’s his or her right,” explained Strouse.