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Report: MLB is “actively going after” any players linked to the Biogenesis clinic

Mar 16, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

It was announced yesterday that Tigers minor league right-hander Cesar Carrillo was suspended 100 games for violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. No specific drug was mentioned in the announcement, but it was later confirmed that the suspension was the result of his connection to the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic. But there’s a whole lot more where that came from.

Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez, Jhonny Peralta, Yasmani Grandal, Francisco Cervelli, Bartolo Colon, Jesus Montero and Danny Valencia are among the major leaguers who have been linked to the clinic. MLB will obviously have a tougher time putting the hammer down on that group since they are protected by the union, but it’s clear that this story is far from over. It was reported earlier this week that the Florida Department of Health has opened an investigation into Biogenesis and Dr. Anthony Bosch, a potentially important development, but it remains to be seen whether they have any interest in cooperating with MLB.

  1. dondada10 - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    I’ll believe it when I see it. You can’t suspend on suspicion, no matter how strong and obvious it is.

    • cw2121 - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Well they kinda already did suspend on suspicion. The whole “Carrillo hit w . . . 50 games for being on Biogenesis documents” thing.

      So I would start believing it.

      • bigharold - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:13 PM

        It was pointed out that since he was not in the minors he’s not afforded the same protection. Major leaguers not only will have the union backing them they’ll, as in A-Rods case, have the resources to lawyer up too.

        I believe the only thing that gets you a suspension for using PEDs is a failed test. If that is correct I can’t see ANYBODY mentioned in connection to this place getting suspended.

        So, I’ll believe it when I see it too.

    • vivabear - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Um…not gonna take time to cite anything, but there need not be a failed test to suspend a major league player as part of the drug program. It happened to Manny his first suspension. Bosch’s dad wrote him a prescription for a banned substance. No failed test they had him for intent to use.

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        Exactly. MLB does not need a failed test, just documented and verified evidence that you took a banned substance. Of course, the Biogenisis stuff is not verified….and suspending a guy because he lied to you about a personal relationship is 12 kinds of bullshit…..there isn’t a single owner or MLB administrator that could survive a month without getting suspended for lying to fans or politicians about their business or profits….bunch of fucking hypocrites.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        but there need not be a failed test to suspend a major league player as part of the drug program. It happened to Manny his first suspension.

        Are you sure about this? All the reports I’m finding via google mention a failed drug test (with some noting that they found artificial testosterone as well). hCG does have legitimate uses in men with low testosterone, but I’m not sure if it’s covered under the Therapeutic Use Exemption.

      • vivabear - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:51 AM

        It’s hard to say, I don’t think MLB ever issued any kind of official explanation or report. The info out there suggests Manny had a 4:1 T/E ratio – which is out of the normal range. An investigation ensued, and they didn’t really need to go any further than finding he had a prescription for HCG, banned without a TUE by MLB. To me, he technically failed the test – but appartenty no illegal substance was identified in his system.

      • gloccamorra - Mar 18, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        “hCG does have legitimate uses in men with low testosterone, but I’m not sure if it’s covered under the Therapeutic Use Exemption.”

        You can get an exemption, but you have to ask first, and renew the request every year, which is dumb since like blood pressure medicine, you need to take it continuously.

        Edinson Volquez was busted while on the DL for Tommy John because he couldn’t find the non-banned drug the Reds doctor had him on, and his doctor in the DR put him on the restricted drug. MLB knew what he was being treated for and that he couldn’t pitch for another 6 months anyway, and let him serve his suspension on the DL. But he was suspended because he didn’t ask first.

  2. cowboysoldiertx - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Im sick on this story. Show me actual proof.

    • Old Gator - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      We don’t need no steenkin proof. Gowachin guilty!

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        Justice is the grifter’s notebook-cum-Book of the Dead detailing dues owed for waters of the fountain of life taken by injection.

  3. beefytrout - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Hasn’t Gio’s association been determined?

    • jdouble777 - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      What does that even mean?

      • beefytrout - Mar 16, 2013 at 9:01 PM

        It means that from almost the very beginning of this story, it’s been public knowledge that Gio Gonzalez’s ties to Biogenesis had nothing to do with PED’s.

    • echech88 - Mar 17, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      So then Braun’s has been as well, right?

      Because apparently whatever Gio says is true and could in no way be in his own desire to protect himself against suspension.

  4. chacochicken - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Well, I’m glad they beat up on the minor leaguer. Is this the exact definition of a whipping boy? Did the document read “Cesar Carrillo, hereafter referred to as Ryan Braun will be suspended…”

    • Old Gator - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      In some societies, a condemned criminal or designated sacrificial victim could pay someone else to take his place. I think I saw this happen in Q, a horror film so bad that I think it was actually directed by the spirit of Ed Wood Jr. through a Ouija Scrabble board (but which is noteworthy for an Academy Award caliber performance by Michael Moriarty – go figger). Guys were selling themselves to an Aztec priest in New York (!) for heart sacrifices so that….aw, I can’t even finish this. It’s even dumber than Bud Light’s drug policies.

      • thegreatstoneface - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        used to be able to pay someone else to take your place in the military, during a war, here in the good ol’ usa, too…

        history’s cool.

      • badintent - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:55 AM

        Don’t tell Mel Gibson about sacrificial victime. His movie had so many Inca hearts being cut out , I thought he was drunk and screaming about Jews.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      I still think they’re hoping he can give them something on Braun.

    • bigharold - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      While there is a certain “whipping boy-ness” to this action it is not without benefit.

      To a certain extent you have a well healed group of players pitted against the entrenched bureaucracy, to wit MLB. On the one hand monied, motivated, quick to react group of free lancers that are more than willing to engage in a pharmaceutical “arms race” with each other and on the other hand you have a stodgy bunch of businessmen that can only react to developing PED protocols. And frankly, MLB’s primary interest in fighting PED abuse is to protect the reputation of their cash cow business so as to keep the cash flowing in and franchise values increasing. Against that background MLB will always be playing catch up, .. they’ll always be Wiley E. Coyote to the players Road Runner, .. Bugs Bunny to MLB’s Elmer Fudd….

      It would appear that MLB is taking the approach that they will change the culture of players using PEDs before they get to the majors and develop the resources and gain the protection of the union, .. hence the seemingly harsh punishment. If so, the strategy isn’t without merit. One of the key components of the reduction of smoking in society is getting to potential smokers before they become smokers. Not the cleanest analogy but it fits. The fact is the union, which will not even protect clean players from PED abusers, has consistently bested MLB so why lock horns with them again? Why not do what is doable and hopefully more clean players will get into the big leagues that will not only not use PEDs but will add pressure to get abusers to stop?

      The bottom line, there are two question to be asked;
      1. Did the minor leaguer in fact break the rules?
      2. Are the sanctions allowable under his contract?

      If the answers are yes than I’ve little sympathy for him. And, if this incident causes him to not make the majors then he likely never had the mental toughness in the first place or was only marginal prospect at best. Personally, I’m tired of reading about PEDs and as long as the sanctions are evenly applied I’m all for strict enforcement. I’d rather not wonder if I’m watching baseball or some elaborate bio-chemical experiment. When it comes to PEDs in baseball to paraphrase Mao, .. kill one to scare 1000.

  5. js20011041 - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    If I were Carillo I’d strongly think about bringing a lawsuit against MLB. Regardless of whether or not he actually used PEDs, they shouldn’t be suspending players unless they fail a test.

  6. gibbskins9 - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    As a Yankee fan, I’m in favor of what ever means MLB needs to take in order to get A-Rod.

    • Old Gator - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      You’re too late. His ex-wife’s lawyer already nailed him but good.

    • tc4306 - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      With ya, as long as they get Cano too. Odd that his name was left off the list.

      • bigharold - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Could it be that he wasn’t a client if theirs? Nah, that couldn’t be it. And, why let logic and reason into the mix anyway?

  7. uyf1950 - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    The part about lying to MLB reminds me of this:

  8. Walk - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    I don’t see how they can suspend someone who has not failed a test. He says he does not know bosh. I know his name is on documents but if they were taking peds of some type who would use their real name?

  9. randygnyc - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Bud is wandering through the wilderness like a lampless Diogenes, searching for modern day auto da fé.

    • stex52 - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Love me some mixed metaphors. But MLB will shy away from this one. Too many big names at once. Too many angy owners. They’ll burn one or two at the stake, preferably minor leaguers, then shy away from the big deal on lack of evidence.

      But to throw in my own metaphor, I was okay with Braun taking a walk on the tampered sample because due process is important. But at this point he may get the bell, book and candle from Grand Inquisitor Bud on this one. We’re getting into serious “where there’s smoke” territory here.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Suddenly everyone’s a Jesuit.

      • stex52 - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Nope, Dominicans were the Inquisition experts. Jesuits were more likely to be the defendants.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        Depends on the place and time, stex. The Dominicans started the Spanish Inquisition, but the Jesuits joined in later — especially re: Mexican Inquisition…but I was just being funny. 😦

      • tominma - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Iont believe there was ANY evidence that the sample was tampered with!! There was only the assertion that because of sloppy and late delivery of the sampleto the lab, it MAY have been tampered with. Reasonable doubt!! NOBODY except BRaun has ever beaten a suspension for a failed drug test. As for me, NAIL ALL THE CHEATERS! And NO HOF induction until after theyr’e dead!

      • stex52 - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        That probably sounded a little more harsh than it was, philiac. I confess to a certain affinity for the Jesuits. They were always the scholars and adventurers who got themselves in trouble for a little too much free thinking.

        But no generalization is perfect over 500 years.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        I took Ancient Greek from a Jesuit — it was tough (and no free thinking there). lol Agreed on the generalization though.

        BTW, it looks like OKC might lose their Astros affiliation. That stinks.

    • weaselpuppy - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Yeah, the Inquisition’s here, and it’s here to staaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        What a show!

      • weaselpuppy - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:30 PM

  10. icanspeel - Mar 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Wonder what they will do with people already busted? Like Melky, Bartolo and Yasmani.

    • jwbiii - Mar 16, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      Nothing. There’s a section in the Joint Drug Agreement that covers this. A player can’t be punished multiple times for the same use. I think any of these players could make a very reasonable argument that the Biogenesis records were for the purchases which caused him to fail his test. It’s paragraph 3.H Multiple Disciplines for the Same Use, if you’re interested.

      The only player who I am aware of who tried to use this defense was Neifi Perez, who was suspended twice for stimulants in 2007. The Medical Testing Officer’s opinion was that the stimulant he has busted for the first time would have washed out of his system by the time he failed his second test.

      • icanspeel - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        Thanks, good info

  11. sdemp - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    MLB only hurts themselves by continually trying to bust players for PED’s. Obviously if you test positive you should be penalized, but to take extreme measures to prove a point is a bit ridiculous.

  12. cur68 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    MLB must have something. I certainly hope they can’t do this without some evidence of guilt. Handwritten notes of someone with a medical degree from Belize, self-written aggrandizing, misspelled, overblown biographical “press releases”, and who’s reported stories don’t match up date-wise or fact-wise isn’t compelling evidence. I could do better than Anthony Bosch’s notes on this very website with some google work and a knowledge of doping.

    If it turns out that Bud & Co. are railroading this kid based solely on Bosch’s notes . . . well, I’m failing to see how someone with access to a lawyer could fail to bring suit and have an excellent case against MLB.

    MLB has lawyers and they MUST know this. Ergo, they must have some real evidence beyond Bosch’s notes. If they don’t . . . they are asking for Braun 2.0. They can’t be THAT stupid . . . can they?

    • bigharold - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      Never underestimate the stupidity and hubris of an entrenched bureaucracy.

      Yeah, they could be that stupid.

  13. bla bla bla - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    So having one’s name scrawled on a piece of notebook paper equates to being “linked to by documents”?

  14. thebadguyswon - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I bet that reporter from a couple weeks ago nailed it. And that Braun, Cano, Gio are going down for 50.

  15. stairwayto7 - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Suspends whites and Latinos but not blacks?

  16. baseballer28 - Mar 16, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Gio Gonzalez IS a roider.

  17. baseballer28 - Mar 16, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    He should get 50 for beng on those documents. Washington Nationals bunch roided f tards.

  18. joerymi - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Going hard after a 28 year old career minor leaguer. Cute. Ryan Braun and A-Rod must be trembling in their boots.

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