Reports: Biogenesis bans on Monday
Major League Baseball is expected to announce the suspensions related to its investigation of the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic Monday, according to multiple media reports.
The clinic and its founder, Anthony Bosch, are alleged to have provided performance-enhancing drugs to major league players, as well as athletes in other sports.
According to the New York Post, those baseball players facing suspensions have until 6 p.m. ET on Sunday to notify MLB about whether they will accept or appeal their suspensions.
Although Alex Rodriguez reportedly is facing a more severe penalty – USA Today reports he has the choice between a suspension through the 2014 season or a lifetime ban – the other players likely will face suspensions of 50 games or slightly higher.
If the suspensions indeed were to begin Monday, those receiving a 50-game ban would be eligible to return in the postseason and/or begin the 2014 season with a clean slate. By Monday morning, each team, except the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies, will have at least 50 games remaining on its regular season schedule. No players from the Red Sox or Rockies have been publicly linked to Biogenesis.
First-time offenders of the Joint Drug Prevention And Treatment Program who choose to appeal can continue to play during the appeal process. Those who appeal will state their cases before an arbitrator. That might not apply to Rodriguez, however, as The Associated Press reports commissioner Bud Selig could use the collective bargaining agreement's “best interests of baseball” clause. In that case, A-Rod would be unable to play during any appeal.
Rodriguez, currently on a minor league rehab assignment following offseason hip surgery and a recent health setback with his quad, is on track to make his 2013 debut with the Yankees on Monday evening.
Obviously, that scenario is in jeopardy, as is the possibility of him fulfilling the remainder of his contract, which runs through the 2017 season.
Although Rodriguez’s representatives have publicly stated they plan to appeal any discipline handed out by the league, ESPN recently reported that the two sides were negotiating a potential agreement. However, those talks had stalled by Friday and a deal appeared unlikely, according to ESPN.
Although A-Rod admitted in 2009 that he used PEDs from 2001-03 while with the Texas Rangers, he would be a first-time offender because he never has tested positive. However, The Associated Press reports MLB is seeking harsher penalties against him because of his possible interference in the league’s investigation of Biogenesis and the number of times his name appears in the clinic’s records over the past several years.
As many as 20 additional players could be disciplined by the league, including several players whose teams are in postseason contention. That includes Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Oakland Athletics right-hander Bartolo Colon.
Among the other major leaguers who have been linked to the Biogenesis scandal: Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera, San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera and catcher Yasmani Grandal, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero (currently at Triple-A). Melky Cabrera, Colon and Grandal all tested for positive for PEDs during the 2012 season and have served 50-game suspensions, increasing the likelihood that they will avoid further discipline.
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun already has agreed to a 65-game suspension that will sideline him the rest of this season.
Two other minor leaguers (Cesar Puello and Fernando Martinez) and two free agents (Jordan Norberto and Fautino De Los Santos) also are among those with alleged Biogenesis ties.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report