ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported on Tuesday that Major League Baseball may suspend up to 20 players, including Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, in what could be the largest doping program in sports history due to an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal related to the Miami-based Biogenesis of America clinic. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Biogenesis of America is Suspected of Supplying the Performance-Enhancing Drugs
Biogenesis of America is an anti-aging clinic located in Miami, Florida. The company is suspected of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to the MLB players. According to the Daily Mail, founder Anthony Bosch first appeared on the radar in 2009 after then-Los Angeles Dodgers player Manny Ramirez tested positive for testosterone. An investigation revealed that a prescription for human chorionic gonadotropin was written for Ramirez by Bosch’s father, Dr. Pedro Bosch. The baseball player was suspended for 50 games.
2. Up to 20 Players Could Get Suspended
T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish released a list of names of the players that may face suspension.
“The players who might ultimately face discipline from MLB include: Rodriguez, Braun, Cabrera, Colon, Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautini de los Santos, Jordan Norberto, and a number of players who are either identified by code names or whose names appear in other documents not obtained by Outside the Lines. All are currently on major-league rosters but for Puello, a top outfield prospect for the New York Mets who is playing in Class AA Binghamton.”
3. The Players Could Get Banned for 100 Games
Should the suspension be carried out, the commissioner’s office might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and other players, the penalty for a second doping offense. A 100-game suspension would cost Rodriguez about $15.3 million of his $28 million annual salary.
4. Bosch Denies Any Knowledge of Supplying the Drugs
In an interview with ESPN, Bosch claimed that he didn’t know anything about Biogenesis of America supplying performance-enhancing drugs to MLB players.
“I have been accused, tried and convicted in the media,” Bosch said. “And so I think have been falsely accused throughout the media. I’ve done nothing wrong.”
5. Bosch’s Cooperation Prompted MLB to Move Forward
According to ESPN, investigators have had records of the players using PEDs for more than a month, but without a statement from Bosch that the records are accurate, the documents were useless. However, in exchange for Bosch’s cooperation, MLB has agreed to drop a lawsuit it filed against him in March.
6. The Announcement of Suspensions Could Come in Two Weeks
7. Alex Rodriguez Declined to Comment
Alex Rodriguez, who admitted in 2009 to using steroids from 2001 to 2003, declined comment. However, before news of his possible suspension broke, Rodriguez responded to recent criticisms from Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman.
“The last thing anybody in a uniform needs right now is another distraction, and I am not going to be one,” Rodriguez told the New York Post. “I really don’t have anything to say about it.”
8. Joe Girardi Says He’ll Let the MLB Handle the Situation
“Our stance all along is to let MLB handle everything,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “When I talk to Alex, it’s baseball related. We text or talk once a week. I check to see how he is physically, but as far as talking about that, no.”
9. Ryan Braun Maintains His Innocence
Braun’s lawyers consulted with Bosch during his successful appeal of a 50-game suspension during the 2011-12 offseason. According to Braun, those consultations explain why his name appears in notebooks attributed to Bosch.
“I’ve already addressed everything related to the Miami situation,” Braun said. “I addressed it in Spring Training. I will not make any further statements about it. The truth has not changed. I don’t know the specifics of the story that came out today, but I’ve already addressed it, I’ve already commented on it, and I’ll say nothing further about it.”
10. It Could Be the Largest Doping Program in Sports History
If the suspensions are carried out, the MLB doping scandal would be the largest in American sports history, comparable only to the 1919 Black Sox scandal, in which eight players from the Chicago White Sox were banned from baseball for life for intentionally losing games to allow the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series.