MLB Seeks to Suspend A-Rod, Others in Performance-Enhancing Drug Investigation: Report

ESPN is reporting MLB is preparing to suspend Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and about 20 other players

Sunday, Jul 7, 2013  |  Updated 9:16 PM EDT
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MLB Looks to Suspend A-Rod, Others in PED Probe: Report

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Major League Baseball will seek to suspend Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and about 20 other players connected to a performance-enhancing drug scandal involving a Miami clinic, ESPN is reporting. NBC News has not independently confirmed.

MLB has been investigating the Biogenesis clinic for allegedly distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs to players.

Tony Bosch, the founder of the now-shuttered clinic, has made a deal with MLB to cooperate in their investigation and give officials the ammunition they need to suspend the players under scrutiny, ESPN reports. Bosch is expected to begin meeting with officials and naming names within a week.

The announcement of suspensions could follow within two weeks, ESPN said. 

Citing a source familiar with the case, ESPN reports the commissioner's office may seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, as well as Ryan Braun and other players.

MLB officials refused to comment to ESPN, and Bosch and his attorneys did not return several calls.

The investigation began after the Miami New Times reported in January that it obtained purported records detailing drug purchases by Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon and 2011 AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz.
 
The Miami New Times said Rodriguez bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogensis, near Rodriguez's offseason home. 
 
Other baseball players the newspaper said appeared in the records include Gio Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal. Later, Yahoo Sports reported that 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun was mentioned in the records.
 
Several players, including Rodriguez, and their spokesmen have denied any improprieties.

Additionally, investigators in March said they had "what they believe is evidence" that a representative of Rodriguez purchased medical records in the midst of MLB's probe into the clinic. 

An associate who works closely with Rodriguez denied at the time that the player has ever tried to buy the documents, telling The Associated Press the Yankees slugger "doesn't even care" what's in the records.

Rodriguez admitted four years ago that he used PEDs from 2001-03. Cabrera, Colon and Grandal were suspended for 50 games each last year by MLB following tests for elevated testosterone. Responding to the testosterone use, MLB and the players' union said Jan. 10 they were authorizing the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory outside Montreal to store each major leaguer's baseline testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio in order to detect abnormalities.

First offenses result in a 50-game suspension and second infractions in 100-game penalties. A third violation results in a lifetime ban.

"We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances," MLB said in a statement at the time. "Only law enforcement officials have the capacity to reach those outside the game who are involved in the distribution of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. ... We are in the midst of an active investigation and are gathering and reviewing information."

The New Times report said it obtained notes by Bosch listing the players' names and the substances they received. Several unidentified employees and clients confirmed to the publication that the clinic distributed the substances, the paper said. The employees said that Bosch bragged of supplying drugs to professional athletes but that they never saw the sports stars in the office.

The paper said the records list that Rodriguez paid for HGH; testosterone cream; IGF-1, a substance banned by baseball that stimulates insulin production; and GHRP, which releases growth hormones.

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