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Report: MLB may ban A-Rod, Braun

posted by admin, June 5, 2013 @ 3:19 am

Updated Jun 4, 2013 9:51 PM ET


Major League Baseball apparently has secured a star witness in its investigation of performance-enhancing drug use among active players: Tony Bosch, founder of the now-defunct Biogenesis wellness clinic at the center of the probe.

MLB has searched for evidence of PED use by Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and others over the past several months. But they didn’t have an informant with intimate knowledge of the PED-related activity to substantiate information contained in documents related to Biogenesis. That has changed, according to an ESPN report Tuesday evening.

The ESPN report said Bosch “reached an agreement this week to cooperate with MLB’s investigation” into Biogenesis. In return, according to the report, MLB has agreed to drop a lawsuit it had filed against Bosch earlier this year and “put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that may bring charges against him.”

MLB has pursued Braun with particular vigor since his 50-game suspension for a positive PED test was overturned in February 2012. Now, the question is whether Bosch can provide MLB investigators with evidence – on the roughly 20 players associated with Biogenesis – that would withstand inevitable appeals before arbitration panels similar to the one that exonerated Braun.

Because federal agencies aren’t known to be involved in the probe, MLB lacks subpoena power and has hit roadblocks in some attempts to obtain evidence. Thus, the deal with Bosch represents perhaps their best chance to obtain the information required to make a compelling case before the arbitrators.

As part of its collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union, MLB can suspend players for PED use without a positive test as long as there is other documented evidence of use. Still, it does not appear MLB is close to announcing actual suspensions related to the probe. Rather, MLB seems prepared to begin something that resembles a trial – en masse. In Braun’s case, 4 1/2 months went by in between his positive test and the arbitrator’s ruling. Now the legal drama will be multiplied by 20.

The ESPN report said MLB is seeking 100-game suspensions against the players involved – the punishment for a second offense of baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

ESPN listed the following players among the potential targets for discipline: Braun, Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto.

MLB suspended Colon, Grandal and Melky Cabrera for PED use within the last year. It’s not clear if that action ultimately will result in any leniency in the current investigation.

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