A report from ESPN late Tuesday indicates that 20 Major League Baseball players, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, could end up suspended from the league — for up to 100 games — in what might be some of the biggest doping scandal punishments in professional sports history. The story, focusing on the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic in South Florida, has been brewing for a while. But it looks like officials could have the break they need to push the investigation forward — and solidify Rodriguez's connection to the clinic.
The suspensions seem to hinge on the cooperation of Tony Bosch in the MLB's investigation. Bosch founded the clinic at the center of the apparent doping operation, which also got him in trouble with the Florida Department of Health. Bosch reportedly struck a deal this week that would get him talking, though others reported that the deal isn't yet finalized. In any case, it's probably bad news for the players accused of using his services. Here's ESPN with more:
"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 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...Bosch is expected to begin meeting with officials -- and naming names -- within a week. The announcement of suspensions could follow within two weeks."
The clinic's records name both Rodriguez and Braun. As USA Today notes, A-Rod has previously admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, but not in connection to the South Florida clinic. The league declined to comment to the paper beyond noting that the players are not currently suspended.
Other players on the list of possible suspensions include Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, the Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz, and former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, according to USA Today.