Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/31/13
Major League Baseball officials told union leaders during a meeting at the Players Association’s midtown Manhattan offices on Tuesday that they plan to suspend Alex Rodriguez and eight other players who allegedly obtained performance-enhancing drugs from a South Florida anti-aging clinic. Most of the players will be suspended for 50 games but some – including the Yankees’ embattled superstar — face stiffer penalties for lying to MLB investigators or interfering in baseball’s year-long Biogenesis investigation. Not all of the players linked to Biogenesis in media reports face discipline sources have told The News. Two former Yankees — Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and Oakland A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon — will not be punished because they already have been suspended as a result of their links to Biogenesis and its owner self-styled “biochemist” Anthony Bosch. Other players linked to Biogenesis may not be disciplined because MLB investigators could not dig up enough evidence to warrant penalties. It remains unclear how many of the players will accept the suspensions and how many will fight MLB’s decision although A-Rod’s attorney David Cornwell said this week that Rodriguez will appeal the looming ban. Representatives for the players are expected to let MLB officials know if they will challenge the suspensions as early as Wednesday a source said. Other notable players linked to Biogenesis include Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and San Diego Padres infielder Everth Cabrera. In a three-team deal on Tuesday the Tigers acquired Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias in a likely signal that Peralta will accept a suspension. Tuesday’s sit-down represents one of the last steps before Rodriguez and other players linked to the now-defunct Coral Gables clinic will be formally disciplined in what will be the most aggressive and comprehensive anti-doping action in the history of the sport. MLB is expected to announce the suspensions by the end of the week. MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred and other baseball executives huddled with Players Association officials and the players’ representatives to inform them about the pending suspensions sources familiar with the meeting told the Daily News. In the case of Rodriguez sources say that MLB investigators have gathered overwhelming evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs in 2010 2011 and 2012. MLB officials are believed to have gathered hundreds of emails text messages and phone records that prove the aging infielder continued to use banned drugs long after he acknowledged in 2009 that he used steroids from 2001 to 2003 his years with the Texas Rangers. The investigation that will result in Rodriguez’s suspension began in August of 2012 when the Daily News reported that Cabrera and his associates attempted to avoid a 50-game ban for doping by claiming that a legal product had caused a positive drug test. MLB investigators quickly determined that Cabrera and his associates were bluffing in part because a website for the product Cabrera claimed had caused his positive test had been created shortly before he met with baseball officials. That investigation ultimately resulted in the suspension last week of former National League MVP Ryan Braun for the remainder of the season. On Tuesday Rodriguez had his longest workout at the Yankees’ Tampa complex since team physician Christopher Ahmad diagnosed him with a Grade 1 strain of his left quad on July 21. The aging infielder — Rodriguez turned 38 on Saturday — didn’t look like an athlete suffering from a quad injury; he showed far more mobility and energy during agility drills wind sprints batting practice and infield practice than he displayed during his minor league rehab assignment earlier this month.
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