PED’s Back on the Front Page for MLB
NEW YORK -- One by one, for three weeks already, players accompanied by their lawyers have been summoned to interviews as part of baseball's latest investigation into performance-enhancing drugs - and the process is a long way from finished.
Some pretty big names, led by Alex Rodriguez, could be on the hot seat.
A-Rod, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon are among the 20 or so players who may be disciplined for their links to the now-closed Miami anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis of America.
The players' union says it has been assured no decisions regarding discipline will be made until the interviews are completed.
"It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged those investigations," union head Michael Weiner said in a statement Wednesday.
And it appears the process has a while to run.
Interviews with players started three weeks ago and are scheduled until the end of June, according to people with knowledge of the process who spoke on condition of anonymity because statements on those details weren't authorized.
MLB has been seeking the cooperation of Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch since Miami New Times reported in January that it obtained what the paper said were records detailing drug purchases by Rodriguez, Cabrera, Cruz and Colon. Yahoo Sports reported that Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, was mentioned in the records.
MLB sued Biogenesis and its operators in a Florida court in March, an attempt to pressure Bosch. A person familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Tuesday night that Bosch agreed to talk to MLB, a deal first reported by ESPN. MLB wants to speak with Bosch in the next few days.
Among the players linked to the clinic, Cabrera, Colon and San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal already have served 50-game suspensions following positive tests for testosterone announced by MLB last year.
"It looks like it could be getting to the bottom of this and finding some information that hopefully would help Major League Baseball as far as cleaning this game up," said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who managed Cabrera last year. "I always thought they should be a little stricter to keep these players from trying to beat the system and cheat. I'm all for stiffer penalties."
Once MLB interviews Bosch and the players, it will have to determine what penalties to impose.
Most players have denied the Biogenesis link either directly or through spokesmen or lawyers.
Rodriguez admitted in 2009 that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. As baseball's highest-paid player with a $28 million salary this year, he would lose $7.65 million during a 50-game ban.
Rodriguez, who turns 38 next month, has not played since hip surgery in January and is not expected to be available to the New York Yankees until after the All-Star break. The third baseman, a three-time AL MVP, has been working out since May at the team's minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., and he drove past reporters without stopping when he arrived and left three hours later Wednesday after batting practice, fielding and agility drills.
A-Rod drove a black Chevrolet SUV rather than the black Maybach he usually arrives in
In addition to Rodriguez, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was linked to the clinic. Cervelli, currently on the DL because of a broken hand, said he consulted Biogenesis for a foot injury, but didn't receive any treatment.
Braun's 50-game suspension for a positive test was overturned by an arbitrator in February 2012 after the union filed a grievance and challenged the handling of his urine sample. Braun has acknowledged he was mentioned in Biogenesis records because his lawyers used Bosch as a consultant during the grievance.
After the Brewers' 4-3, 10-inning win over Oakland at Miller Park on Tuesday night, the 2011 NL MVP said he was finished talking about the clinic.
"I've already addressed everything related to the Miami situation. I addressed it in spring training. I will not make any further statements about it," he said. "The truth has not changed."
Braun said the speculation hasn't affected him on the field.
"No, of course not. I've dealt with this for two years now. I'm pretty good at avoiding distractions," he said.
Courtesy of (AP)