Braun, Gonzalez likely OK for WBC

The participation of Ryan Braun and Gio Gonzalez in the World Baseball Classic is unlikely to be affected by Major League Baseball’s ongoing investigation into the Biogenesis clinic of South Florida.

The names of Gonzalez and Braun appeared in records of Biogenesis proprietor Anthony Bosch, according to reports by the Miami New Times and Yahoo! Sports, respectively. Bosch has supplied major leaguers with performance-enhancing drugs, multiple reports say.

Braun and Gonzalez are slated to play for Team USA at next month’s World Baseball Classic, creating an uncomfortable backdrop for the sport’s premier international event. If MLB suspended either player for PED use before or during the tournament, he would be disqualified from participating in the WBC, as well.

However, two sources said Tuesday that any discipline arising from the Biogenesis investigation is unlikely to be announced soon enough to impact the WBC, which begins March 8 for Team USA. The championship game is scheduled for March 19 in San Francisco.

As of Tuesday, a source said MLB was still trying to acquire documents from the New Times – a sign, perhaps, that progress on MLB’s investigation has been slow. A one-month time frame seems unrealistic for MLB to collect all available evidence, conduct necessary interviews, decide on discipline, and uphold any suspensions against an appeal process.

So, Braun and Gonzalez should be able to represent their country at the WBC. What happens after that remains uncertain.