20 MLB players could face suspension after clinic founder agrees to name users
By KMOV Web Producer
By KMOV Web Producer
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 22: Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on May 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) By Ezra Shaw
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 16: Melky Cabrera #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during MLB-game action against the Chicago White Sox April 16, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images) By Brad White
NEW YORK (CBS) -- The founder of a Miami anti-aging clinic has agreed to talk to Major League Baseball about players linked to performance-enhancing drugs, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman confirms.
The agreement between Anthony Bosch and MLB, first reported by ESPN, is a “major break in the case,” Heyman says.
Information that Bosch provides MLB on players who came to the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic could lead to suspensions.
Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera are among the players whose names have been tied to the clinic.
Bosch’s cooperation will greatly aid MLB’s efforts to impose the suspensions, says CBSSports.com’s Dayn Perry.
“However,” Perry adds, “any kind of endgame could still be weeks away. It’s believed that MLB has not at this time received any testimony from Bosch—only the agreement to provide testimony.
Heyman says it’s not known whether Bosch has confirmed any names linked to Biogenesis.
In addition to Rodriguez, New York Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli also was linked to the clinic. Cervelli said he consulted Biogenesis for a foot injury, but didn’t receive any treatment.
“We’ll let MLB handle everything and we don’t really have a comment,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday night after a 4-3 win over Cleveland.
Girardi said the Yankees were still planning on Rodriguez rejoining the team after the All-Star break. The star third baseman has been on the disabled list all season.
As for the drug cloud that has hovered over baseball for years, Girardi said, “I think we all had hoped we’d gotten through it. But obviously, we haven’t.”
Yankees outfielder Vernon Wells said it was too soon to draw any conclusions.
“Everything right now is speculative,” Wells said. “We can all sit here and wonder.”
MLB has sued Biogenesis of America and its operators, accusing them of scheming to provide banned PEDs to players in violation of their contracts.
The Miami New Times reported in January that it obtained purported records detailing drug purchases by Rodriguez, Cabrera, Cruz and former AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon.
Yahoo Sports reported that Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, was mentioned in the records.
Most have denied the Biogenesis link, although Rodriguez admitted using performance-enhancing drugs earlier in his career and Colon and Cabrera each were suspended for 50 games last year for testing positive for elevated testosterone levels.
Rodriguez denied the newspaper report when it came out. A publicist issued a statement saying, “The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. He was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him.”
Braun failed a drug test in 2011, but his suspension was overturned by an arbitrator. He has acknowledged that he was mentioned in Biogenesis records, but says it was because his lawyers had used Bosch as consultant during the appeal.
After the Brewers’ 4-3 win in 10 innings over Oakland at Miller Park, Braun said he was done 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,” he said.
Braun said the speculation was not affecting 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.