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Report: Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun among players MLB seeks to suspend for Biogensis connection

Jun 4, 2013, 7:53 PM EDT

braun tall getty Getty Images

Performance-enhancing drugs loomed large entering the baseball season, amid reports that dozens of players — many of them high-profile stars — could be suspended because of their reported involvement with a clinic that supplied PEDs.

That story just got bigger.

From ESPN.com investigative reporters T.J. Quinn, Pedro Gomez and Mike Fish:

Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks, “Outside the Lines” has learned. If the suspensions are upheld, the performance-enhancing drug scandal would be the largest in American sports history.

Tony Bosch, the former director of the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic, is “expected to begin meeting with officials — and naming names — within a week,” according to the ESPN.com report. A source familiar with the case confirmed to The Associated Press early Wednesday morning that Bosch has indeed agreed to talk to MLB about players linked to PEDs, and that Bosch’s information could lead to suspensions. The suspensions could be issued within two weeks, though there’s likely to be an appeals process and that may take a few months.

NBCSports.com reached both Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association on Tuesday night, but both declined to comment. Terry Fahn, Rodriguez’s publicist as of January, said to contact New York publicist Ron Berkowitz; Berkowitz declined to comment when reached by phone.

MORE: A closer look at the players facing potential suspensions

The commissioner’s office will be seeking 100-game punishments for Braun and A-Rod because they both committed two offenses — the initial doping and then lying to Major League Baseball officials. The typical punishment for first-time performance-enhancing drug offenders is a 50-game suspension.

Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez is not a candidate for suspension, according to Quinn, because Bosch is expected to confirm to the investigators that Gio only bought league-approved substances. Some of the other names that were found in the Biogenesis documents: Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto.

MORE: Why a mass suspension would be a mass fail

The Biogenesis news broke in late January, when it was reported by multiple outlets that Major League Baseball was investigating Bosch under the suspicion that his clinic represented “ground zero” for performance enhancing drugs in Florida, where a disproportionate number of major leaguers grew up, played amateur and college baseball or where they currently make their offseason homes. On January 29, the Miami New Times obtained and published a large portion of the Biogenesis clinic’s records which contained the names of several major leaguers accompanied in many cases by notations which suggested that the players were given performance enhancing drugs. The documents were not conclusive of any player’s use and, in some cases — like with Gio Gonzalez — no connection could be found between the player and any substances which are banned by Major League Baseball.

Immediately after the Miami New Times report came out all of the players involved either denied any involvement with Biogenesis whatsoever or denied that they obtained banned substances.  For example, Gonzalez claims that his father was a patient of Bosch’s. Ryan Braun claims that his attorneys used Bosch as a consultant in his successful 2012 appeal of his PED suspension. Despite the denials, the report and the documents set off a media firestorm which caused Major League Baseball to step up its investigation of the players named therein.

124 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Well, Drew, you won’t need to post anything more today. We can spazz about this one the rest of the night.

    • dondada10 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:05 PM

      Me thinks we’ll be talking about this one for longer than a night.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        Yea! There’s sure to be more…

        (This one deserves the ellipsis. You better prepare yourself for plenty of them.)

      • dondada10 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:10 PM

        Selfish thought: My precious Citi Field All-Star Game is gonna look like ESPN’s Sunday night game.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        Sorry, dude.

      • ratherbpickin - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:41 PM

        Should you trade Ryan Braun in fantasy baseball?

        check out:
        http://4thwallsports.com/2013/06/should-i-trade-ryan-braun/

    • pjmarn6 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Back in 1919, the Black Sox Scandal, got 8 players banned for taking bribes. Today it is just the opposite. Players were paid billions of dollars, that came directly from the fans pockets to overperform and steal that money from fixing themselves with performance enhancing drugs. Everyone who took PEDs knew it was wrong and it was to steal money from the fans by getting huge contracts. A 50 or 100 game suspension is nothing to these fraudulent millionaires. They will take the down time, playing golf and wasting their overpaid salaries in casinos.
      The only real punishment that makes any sense is to permanently ban them and to sue them to repay the ridiculous salaries that they “FIXED THEMSELVES” to make. Hell using a corked bat or a pitcher throwing an altered ball will get players suspended. One has to know that these players cheated worse than the eight Black Sox Players and the minimum that baseball should do is ban them for life. Pete Rose got that ban for betting on baseball. I imagine he made very little on that deal. But these bastards made millions by cheating. Banning is too good for them. Baseball is forever ruined. There is always suspicion and doubt. The records are skewed and nobody knows how to fix them. Remember Roger Maris? The stress got to him so badly, his hair started to fall out.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        Be that as it may, there’s a collective bargaining agreement in place here, so all you’re going to get is the agreed upon punishments.

      • pjmarn6 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:24 PM

        I found this. It should have been memorized by every player that wanted to make the big league. It was published before the 1919 World Series:
        the Philadelphia Bulletin published a poem which would quickly prove to be ironic:

        Still, it really doesn’t matter,
        After all, who wins the flag.
        Good clean sport is what we’re after,
        And we aim to make our brag
        To each near or distant nation
        Whereon shines the sporting sun
        That of all our games gymnastic
        Base ball is the cleanest one!
        “NOT ANY MORE!”

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        One has to know that these players cheated worse than the eight Black Sox Players and the minimum that baseball should do is ban them for life.

        No way you can prove this. The rest of your post is just absurd hyperbole.

      • pjmarn6 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged The Black Sox Eight cheat on 9 games. Everyone who used steroids or PEDS used them for a long time and tilted the game towards them and their pocketbooks to the tune of several BILLION dollars. You were suckered into it. Baseball has suspended a few. Like career criminals, they only get caught once in a while. The big loser is BASEBALL, a game I loved. I don’t appreciate football, basketball, hockey, horse racing, golf or the olympic games. I LOVED THE PURITY OF BASEBALL. These players who deliberately took PEDs to improve performance, did not take the drugs to just play better or “TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM” they took the drugs to make more money! THEY CHEATED! THEY DESTROYED BASEBALL. Is that concept so difficult for you to understand? In horse racing doping a horse gets you banned. Why should it be any difference for baseball players? The end result is the same. Horses are/were banned so the people involved in the doping get money. Players doped themselves to get fatter contracts and more money. No difference.

      • pjmarn6 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:16 PM

        Error! Horses were “banned”…. should read horses were “DOPED”. The big difference is that the horse didn’t dope itself. The baseball players knowingly doped themselves.

      • pjmarn6 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:27 PM

        churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged hyperbole????? What is exaggerated? The Black Sox Scandal happened. The Peds scandal is happening. The records cannot be changed. The billions of dollars these dopers got are lost. What is exactly a 50-100 game ban going to cost the dopers? Look at their contracts and how many millions they have already taken in. A rest for 2-3 months is nothing compared to what getting doped up got them. The punishment has to fit the crime and a 50-100 game suspension does not fit the crime at all. Remember A-Rod huddling on the Yankee grass with the billionaire Warren Buffet? You think for one minute that Buffet would waste his time on a lowly grounds keeper? When Texas signed A-Rod to a quarter of a billion dollar contract, I knew he would wind up as a super rich Yankee. He doesn’t need a dime of the money he is going to lose in a suspension!

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:27 AM

        pj, the major problems I have with your comments: The game has not been destroyed. You of course have the right to no longer like MLB or Little League or whatever, but the game lives, and lots of us still enjoy it. And if all the best players took PEDs, and those chemicals made the best better, well, they would have made a lot of money anyway for being the best around at the time.

      • pjmarn6 - Jun 5, 2013 at 1:50 AM

        nothanksimdriving123 You got it ass backwards. The drugs made them better than the rest. The records are no longer relevant. I remember looking up the statistics and knowing that Whitey Ford had great statistics. I never stopped to wonder if he was on PEDs. I knew that Tony Kubek and Bobby Richardson were a great SS-2nd base combination. I didn’t think that they were that way because of drugs. Joe Dimaggio knew he was going downhill and shunned Mantle. The records of that age are real. The records of the last 20 years are always going to have an * next to them. Of course the game is ruined. You probably don’t remember the Mantle-Maris rivalry to hit the home runs to break Babe Ruth’s record. Who will break Ted Williams .400+ average? All the world series results and league records are irrelevant. What these players did was destroy the records to measure future generations of ball players against. In that sense Baseball is ruined. I truly believed that the owners knew about what was happening and as long as they could turn a profit, they turned a blind eye. Just like Penn. State and Joe Paterno. No longer are home runs, batting average, RBI’s and pitching statistics meaningful. Of course baseball is ruined.
        The only way to get it back to where it was is to start the statistics all over again and do weekly drug testing on every player in the bid leagues and the minor leagues. Then I will believe again. You can’t make me believe again in the sport I loved.

      • psousa1 - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        The Black Sox conspired to lose games. These guys were trying to enhance performance.

        It is hypocritical of me to take a stance on this because I was a user (I first was prescribed due to illness and then once I realized this made me feel like superman I then looked for other ways to get them once it was determined I no longer medically needed them) and I could spot a user. A-Rod stopped for the first half of the season in which he publically acknowledged his use (or did he). It was obvious to me he was back on that season. It’s the reaction time from pitch recognition to when you start to generate your swing is where it helps most. There’s a guy in Anaheim right now who is feeling the effects of being off it. But look for him to have a monster second half……………………

      • thetolteque - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        Yea these young players go to these stupid cities and all the fans do is nit pick everything they do apart. “O johnny’s shoelace is untied, let’s put it on the news, in the paper, and talk about it on talk radio for a month”. It’s ridiculous. who can stand up to that kind of pressure? and you forget back when those older players were playing there was real cocaine in the coca cola, so no wonder they preformed so well. Baseball is 162 games, those guys should be allowed to take recovery enhancements. Plus they only witch hunt the black guys..Forgot all about Mark McGuire..

      • pjmarn6 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        thetolteque You better do some research before you prove yourself ignorant and stupid. Cocaine was taken out of Coca-Cola in 1903 when Babe Ruth was 8 years old. But why let facts interfere with your ravings?

  2. sabatimus - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    You reap what you sow.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:56 PM

      The old saying is true.

  3. somekat - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    To me, the biggest part of this is going to be Melky. If the suspension he had last year was in fact, about this, and he admitted to it, the other players are in real trouble. They can probably in the long run appeal, and get it partially reduced, but there will still be lengthy suspensions. You can’t blow it off when you have another guy on the list admitting everything the guy is saying is true.

    If this is a separate incident, that changes things. If all the players pull the “nah, not me”, you never know what will happen in front of an arbitrator. You might get in front of someone that is so pro-union that they will grasp onto any possibility and either toss, or greatly reduce, the length.

    It sounds like this is the same incident from last year for Melky, so these guys could be in for an uphill fight

  4. tycobbfromfangraphs - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Oh sweet Jesus, Cano might be going down along with them

  5. iamhoraceknight - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    I can’t recall the guy’s name, I believe he was from either SI or Yahoo, but he spoke on this story months ago. Stated that these guys would be suspended in month or two. I’m pretty sure this was around March/Early April. Does anyone else remember this? Know who I’m speaking of?

  6. red sky at night - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    The fact that there are people who oppose this is hilarious. Rooting interest, dilemma?

  7. fearthehoody - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    So that why Jesus Montero sucks! Hes been off cycle for some time now!

  8. stephenolszewski - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    This could get ugly..

  9. johninpa - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    So how is it that this many guys were using PED’s and baseball’s testing program didn’t catch any of them?

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      Ask Lance, and many many others.
      There’s a lot of money available to be ahead of testing programs.
      And remember this is the league using monitors thrown out in the garbage by public schools 10 years ago as a tool for instant replay.

  10. rufuscornpone - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    I’m conflicted. On one hand, I want to see MLB be more pro-active in rooting out steroids from sources outside of tests. On the other hand….are they attempting to double the penalty for catching someone in a way that is *less reliable* than tests? Since when is lying to MLB a PED offense?

    By all means, punish away….but don’t jeopardize the whole thing by doubling the penalty and swinging public opinion against MLB for overstepping.

  11. stopmakingexcuses - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    And Ryan Braun swore and pleaded that he wasn’t guilty. So he’s also a bold faced liar.

    • dondada10 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      At the time he sold me.

  12. red sky at night - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    @jwbiii, are you trying to defend Braun?

    • jwbiii - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Not particularly. It’s the process that I don’t particularly like.
      1. Players can be disciplined for failed tests. Absolutely.
      2. Players can be disciplined for criminal convictions. Absolutely.
      3. Players can be disciplined if the commissioner believes he has just cause. The commissioner system in baseball is very weak. The commissioner serves at the pleasure of the owners and can be fired by a majority of them at any time. This essentially means that a player can be disciplined if the majority of owners want it.

  13. phillyphannn83 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Is it just me or, with the exception of Braun, every player named is spanish? hmmmm

    • dondada10 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      Wasn’t the clinic in Miami? Where the population is mostly Hispanic? And Braun went to college at University of Miami.

      So, is it racial, or geographic?

  14. rcali - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Yankees ownership down on their hands and knees hoping to dump as much of A-Fraud’s contract as possible.

  15. eagles512 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Craig will still say Braun is innocent.

    • zacksdad - Jun 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Craig would buy the PED, get it tested as real PED, inject himself in Braun, and then still say Braun is innocent. He has a Bromance with Braun, in this a case a Braunmance.

  16. nbjays - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Well, as long as Smug Bud is going to be swinging the big axe, he should take a few chops at those umpires who have recently tested positive for stupidity and arrogance and were obviously on vision- and judgement-impairing substances.

    And I think that the MLBPA is going to raise a HUGE shit storm if MLB starts handing out big suspensions based on hearsay and sworn affidavits rather than testing. Think about it… does this now mean they will try to retroactively go after Clemens (based on McNamee’s testimony) and Bonds (based on more verbal evidence)? I know they are not playing, but this could set a precedent (and a bad one) over what constitutes enough evidence to suspend or even ban.

    All I know for sure is that a lot of lawyers are about to make a shitload of money.

  17. sportsnut101 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    How does this benefit the MLB by waisting money looking into this heard they spent millions looking into it. Really please explain the expense report.

    This has to be coming from the Yankees first Who want to get out of arod contract anyway they can

    Name the other players as well not just Braun n arod

    They gonna spend more fighting the union if they do suspend them then legal battle from there

  18. saintsfire - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    could be baseball had a hard woody for getting Braun since you know they failed on all accounts and the mighty commish had to eat it.

    smells like witch hunt on Braun.

    I’m leaning the commish eats it again… then gets a J. Edgar super double sized woody for Braun…

    yea yea that’s just my gut, hunch and nose talking. So prove your allegations or you’re gunna eat it again mighty commish

    Anyone for re-instating Rose?

  19. vstar1us - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    Can we get a refund for my Braun the dirty scum bag shirts!
    He is destroying Baseball as we know it, along with a bunch of other low life’s

  20. 2difshoe - Jun 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Paying good money to watch multi-millionaire cheaters cheat.
    I guess that would be called enabling. Me, done with baseball. And little will care.
    But I am sure there are many who feel the same way and will follow it’s a start.
    There is no integrity in the game anymore, and the powers within do little about it.

    I’ll do just fine with hot dogs, apple pie and my Chevrolet.

  21. bbk1000 - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    PEDs aside, I’m looking at the picture, does that bat look corked?

  22. baylj98 - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Frankly, I don’t give a damn any longer. Who wants to watch a bunch of wimpy high school players playing baseball in the major leagues. I have been a fan longer than most of you people have been alive. I enjoy all sports except hockey. Very boring, even soccer is boring, although they are incredible athletes running non stop for most of the game. In hockey, half the time they are fighting and no one gets thrown out of the game. How is that fair? Might as well watch a boxing match. Looking forward to another exciting NFL season. Peace everyone. Enjoy the games for what’s left of them.

  23. materialman80 - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Well Braun has to come up with “another” BS story about what “happened” this time. Out for good, zero tolerance. Clean up the game Bud, it’s WAY past time.

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