In its continuing fight to thwart the use of performance-enhancing drugs, MLB took the unusual step Friday of filing a lawsuit in Florida...

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In its continuing fight to thwart the use of performance-enhancing drugs, MLB took the unusual step Friday of filing a lawsuit in Florida state court, accusing six people connected to a South Florida anti-aging clinic of damaging the sport by providing various players with prohibited substances.

The suit is one of the more aggressive moves MLB has taken in an attempt to thwart doping in its game, and it could open the door for other officials in other sports to file similar suits against those who they think provided their players with banned drugs.

“Each of the defendants participated in a scheme to solicit major-league players to purchase or obtain, and/or to sell, supply or otherwise make available to major-league players substances that the defendants knew were prohibited under baseball’s” drug-testing program, the suit charges.

The suit was filed against the clinic, Biogenesis of America; a predecessor company called Biokem that operated out of the same office; and six individuals connected to the clinic, including Anthony Bosch, one of the heads of the clinic.

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Bosch, the suit alleges, provided players with banned substances, including testosterone, human growth hormone and HCG, a fertility drug. The suit said Bosch claimed the substances would increase the players’ strength and help them recover from injuries. Bosch and other associates, the suit says, “understood that major-league players were contractually prohibited” from using such substances and attempted to conceal the identities of players connected to the clinic.

Major League Baseball initiated the suit as an attempt to solve the obstacles it has faced in punishing players whom it suspects of doping.

Around the league

Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman will remain in that role, as the Reds set their rotation on Friday and Chapman was not included. Chapman, a left-hander, came to camp with the possibility of becoming a starter, but will stay in the bullpen. Johnny Cueto will start on opening day.

• San Diego Padres right-hander Casey Kelly will have Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm the first week of April. Kelly, who was a candidate for this season’s starting rotation, is expected to miss 12 to 18 months. Kelly said on Monday that doctors found small tears in his right ulnar collateral ligament.

• Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton will be out for up to two months with a left elbow sprain. Arizona manager Kevin Towers said on Friday that Eaton had an MRI that revealed a small tear in the fibers around his UCL.

• New York Mets lefty Johan Santana will start the season on the disabled list while he works to strengthen his pitching shoulder. Mets manager Terry Collins announced the plan Friday. The 33-year-old Santana hasn’t pitched in a spring-training game this year.

• The father of a 6-year-old girl who was among the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut will throw the ceremonial first pitch before the Texas Rangers’ home opener, the team announced Friday

Derek Jeter took batting practice and fielded grounders at shortstop on Friday, and it went so well that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the captain could play in a minor-league exhibition game as soon as Saturday. It was Jeter’s first action since he was scratched from Tuesday’s exhibition game with stiffness in his surgically repaired left ankle.

The Associated Press and Newsday

contributed to this report.

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