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

Jun 4, 2013, 7:53 PM EST

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. GoneYickitty - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Well this will be interesting. Can’t imagine the players’ union will be too happy with suspension based on the testimony of a shady character.

    • professormaddog31 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      It makes you wonder what’s in it for Bosch? MLB isn’t the Feds, and I don’t know what he has to gain or lose.

      • jwbiii - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        In exchange for Bosch’s full cooperation, sources said, Major League Baseball will drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch in March; indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation; provide personal security for him and even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that may bring charges against him.

      • professormaddog31 - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        Thanks. So basically they are all lying down with dogs and getting up with fleas. Blah.

    • dohpey28 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      It was their members who chose to associate and deal with this ‘shady’ individual. If he was so shady, why would they deal with him in the first place? You reap what you sow.

  2. historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    No Freaking Way!!!!!!!!!

    • cur68 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      Its not so cut and dried, I’d think. They are going to need some more evidence than just Bosch’s say so. There’s going to be syringes, pictures, or corroborating testimony. Anyhow, the next few days in baseball should be interesting.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        I’m gonna need protein. Good thing I’ve got this stockpile for the Doom! watch. How’s you’re blubber stash?

      • cur68 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        Going rancid. I’m heading out on the hunt soon. Gotta stockpile before the pack ice melts.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:21 PM

        Grody.

  3. jaysfan64 - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Get ready for the lawsuits…would love to see their rationale…if Melky is included in this and it’s considered a separate incident from last year, he’s done..

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      As far as Melky is concerned, he appears to have fessed up and it seems to be the same incident.

      • somekat - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        If this is true, it’s a big deal. If the league has a player admitting doing exactly what this guy is saying he did, it makes it much more difficult for other players to just blow it off as lies from a “shady guy”

      • turdfurgerson68 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

        Right, and no negative reflection on the Blue Jays…happened well before Toronto signed him.

        But the Yankees, where does one start with those juicers???

        For starters an asterisk next to the 2009 title team.

        A-Roid (admitted), Melky (caught), Giambi (admitted) , Petitie (admitted), etc

        2009 Yankees*

        * = steroid cheaters

      • badintent - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        @turdfur
        So Manny and Ortiz on roids for the Sox were just part time players that only appeared as PHs ? right.You really think the Sox beat Yankees without them having monster seasons ? And stop picking on Roger’s wife, she looked great .Far better than Roger and Andy.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        2009 team…Giambi (admitted)

        Who wasn’t even on the team. Come on Mr. Reynolds, you can do better than that…

    • biasedhomer - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      How about a lawsuit from that guy who was blamed to have mishandled Braun’s sample? That guys reputation is ruined. He was made the scapegoat.

      • sabatimus - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:28 PM

        We could possibly see a suit, but if he DID mishandle the sample, he really has no case.

      • somekat - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        sabitmus is right. all they really said about him was that he mishandled the sample. An arbitrator found that he….mishandled the sample. They have to say something that isn’t true in order for you to get damages.

        Does that mean Braun isn’t a scum bag? Not at all, but he’s not legally liable for anything towards this guy

      • bosoxfan11 - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        I was under the impression that was the reason Braun got off? It wasn’t because he didn’t do it, it was because the dude brought the sample or before sending it in something?

  4. thebadguyswon - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Wow….I was under the impression it had blown over.

  5. seamus0317 - Jun 4, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Anyone that believed Braun wasn’t dirty is completely clueless! For once right wins out over might!

    • pipkin42 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      Yeah! Corporations are really sticking it to labor! I always side with the capitalists over the employers in every dispute!

      • pipkin42 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        …employees. grr.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        I’m about as pro-labor as you can get, but I don’t see a capitalists-employees thing in this.

      • pipkin42 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:39 PM

        I do, because of the collectively-bargained nature of the labor in MLB. But beyond that I was responding to the ‘might vs. right’ sentiment. This point of view sees players, ie labor, as bullies while the owners, ie capital, as right. That’s just backwards.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        Ok. I didn’t get that from what he was saying (I didn’t see him saying all bosses are always right), and I still don’t see a bosses exploiting workers angle, but to each his/her own. I’m not anti-union.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      1) Nothing is official yet from MLB yet, so nobody has won anything. After that does happen, if it does, then will come the appeals, arbitrators, etc.
      2) I certainly won’t call Braun “right,” but “might” can only mean the multibillion $ business that is MLB–so I guess my main response to your “right wins out over might” is “Huh?”

  6. okwhitefalcon - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    There was no way MLB was gonna let go of this one, it was just a matter of time.

  7. schlom - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    From the article:

    One source familiar with the case said the commissioner’s office might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and other players, the penalty for a second doping offense. The argument, the source said, is that the players’ connection to Bosch constitutes one offense, and previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection or the use of PEDs constitute another.

    Does that mean that Cabrera and Grandal won’t be suspended this time? If not, than won’t this be their third strike then? And isn’t a third positive a lifetime ban?

    • biasedhomer - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Melky already was suspended and he admitted to it, unlike Arod and Braun who vehemently denied it and blamed others.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Based on statements by Melky Cabrera, he seems to have admitted that he had done it. I doubt that they can punish him twice for the same offence.

  8. thebadguyswon - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Capt Ahab gets his Moby Dick.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      Ahab is older and more shrivelled than I always imagined.

      • badintent - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        The real story of the survivors from the real whale attack is amazing. They had to eat the cabin boy to survive the trip in the row boat.I forget the book name but google Amazon for it.But don’t eat a big meal before you get to the middle of the book.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:34 PM

        Um, thanks?

      • badintent - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        In some ways , it’s a better story than Captain Bligh and his journey from the Bounty to Timor.Enjoy.

  9. 13arod - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    jaysfan64 melky shoudn’t be suspented he served his last year unless mlb is stuiped to suspend him again

    • joecool16280 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that you never participated in a spelling bee.

      • Ralph - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        No, he did. His word was “suspented”.

      • greymares - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        no it was stuiped

      • badintent - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:51 AM

        13arod was the water boy at the bee.

  10. onbucky96 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Braun beat the rap last yr, how can they skip 50 games and go to 100? See you in court MLB. Sincerely, the MLBPA.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      Read the article. The theory is his dealings w/ Bosch are one offense and lying about it is his second.

    • sdelmonte - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      Yeah, this seems a bit out of line. Just because someone might be guilty doesn’t mean that you still can’t be conducting a vendetta on top of it.

  11. pipkin42 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh!

  12. 13arod - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    and why is mlb baseball saying that are going to be suspented if they STILL don’t have all the evidence

    • biasedhomer - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      They will soon have evidence, and supposedly plenty.

    • labfan30 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      Because they already have the names. The meeting is to go over the details. They would not have made an agreement blindly. They are now just getting their ducks in a row to prepare for the inevitable lawsuits and appeals.

      As someone else said, the MLB was NEVER going to let this one go. They would rather lose the appeals and make sure every player understands they will do anything rather than just let it go.

      On a side note, if ARod or someone else was really trying to buy up the docs from the guy, not only is that player screwed, but he makes everyone else look bad too. Why are you buying up docs if you have nothing to hide? If you had something to hide, that pretty much. Goes without saying that the other names on the list are in trouble as well.

      From a personal standpoint, I do not care what happens. I would like to see Braun go down. There is no doubt in my mind he is dirty. None at all.

  13. pappageorgio - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    My only hope here is that MLB learned something from the NFL/Goodell fiasco in the NFL.

    The fact that the players involved in the saints bounty scandal we’re guilty as sin didn’t actually matter in the end. Goodell looked at all of his evidence and said “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…….”. But he rushed the process and They crucified him for it……the players got loudmouth lawyers to basically start name calling and drag the NFL and the commish through the mud.

    In the end the players won.

    I really hope that Tags did it the right way here and he gets them.

  14. theaxmancometh - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Hopefully Braun is forced to actually talk instead of just saying the issue is behind him. I’m a huge Brewer fan (or trying to be this terrible season) & I have reserved judgment on Brauny but I want some damn answers!

    • professormaddog31 - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      I wish Braun would say something, too. You hear a million rumors about what he was taking, and every one of them would be embarrassing. I don’t know, though…if I were innocent, I’d rather be embarrassed than smeared as a drug cheat.

  15. anotheryx - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    At this point Yankees must be hoping for 100 days without having to pay ARod, no?

    • Kevin S. - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      I don’t think the Yankees get to keep the money.

      • paperlions - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        I’m pretty sure they do. Suspensions are without pay.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        Yes, but I was under the impression MLB got the money.

  16. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    More wonderful news for the Brewers this year.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      I’m worried about Jhonny Peralta. He’s been burning it up this year. Rhats.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        Wouldn’t surprise me. Obviously players know how to beat the system because plenty are still doing them.

  17. uuddlrlrbastart - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    I thought the CBA required a positive test for suspension, not a sworn affidavit? I would think the Players Union would go nuts over this. Especially 100 game suspensions for players who received a 50 game suspension yet?

    • DJ MC - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      The double suspensions will result in lawsuits, guaranteed, even if the overall evidence is strong. That could be a problem for MLB.

    • jwbiii - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      Not really. From the Joint Drug Agreement

      7. Discipline
      G. Other Violations
      2. A Player may be subjected to disciplinary action for just cause by the Commissioner for any Player in violation of Section 2 [List of prohibited substances] above not referenced in Section 7.A through 7.F
      [Discipline for failed tests and criminal convictions] above.

      We’re going to hear a lot about that “just cause” clause over the next few months.

  18. tycobbfromfangraphs - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Baseball’s version of the Red Wedding inc.

    • sdelmonte - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      Only with lower ratings and less shock value.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        Definitely, still, twitter will explode with tears and meme

  19. wallio - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    It’s about time, nice to see Bud trying to clean up the game for once. Now about that replay…..

  20. raysfan1 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    While I want any player who has done wrong to face discipline, providing immunity from liability and “putting in a good word” with law enforcement for the dealer in order to lay wood to the users to me is nuts. MLB did the same thing with Mitchell report. It makes a great show but does not fix the problem. I hope that the DA ignores MLB’s good word and hammers Bosch.

  21. DJ MC - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    I’m not particularly well-versed in the CBA and the suspension rules, so please feel free to tell me where I’m wrong. As far as I understand the rules, a suspension comes from proof that a player used a banned substance, usually via a failed drug test.

    So in order to suspend these players, Major League Baseball needs more than this person saying that he sold substances or paraphernalia to them. They need either failed tests (which they probably don’t have) or statements saying that he directly witnessed or performed the use.

    It will be very interesting to see what evidence is in MLB’s possession. We know that the Players’ Association will fight to the death (as well they should) unless the evidence is clear and beyond damning, and I can’t believe the league would take any real chance of losing that war. Especially after the black eye the NFL received for its hubris.

    • sdelmonte - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      Someone wake Craig. We need a lawyer.

      Barring that, wake Florio. He’s been through this sort of thing with the Saints.

      • paperlions - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        Please don’t wake Florio.

  22. randygnyc - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    I hope if they used PEDS they should fry them all. Arod- 100 games? Why not? Braun 100 games? Seems fair. Yes I know, technically they never had a first offense, and, the union will have to go to the mat, but these guys DESERVE it. Melky? Who’s to say that these were the same PEDS? Maybe this was something different. If so, 100 games.
    I’m so God-damned mad (this was all probably incoherent, sorry)

    • badintent - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      I hope DiMaggio comes back and punches Arodless senseless. Disgrace to Yankee tradition and heritage.Get Billy to sucker punch Arod too.

  23. sdemp - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Can someone help explain how this helps the game?

    MLB has shown that they will do everything and anything to suspend a player, but what have they done to actually clean up the sport.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      LOL
      That is all

  24. barkleyblows - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Ryan Cheateriod should be suspended.

    • nategearhart - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Who?

      • kopy - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:54 PM

        Why should Ryan Theriot be suspended?

  25. illcomm - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Amen

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