The largest mass suspension for performance-enhancing drugs in an American sports league could be at hand.
ESPN's “Outside the Lines” reported Tuesday that Major League Baseball could suspend about 20 players with ties to the Miami-area clinic under investigation for distributing performance enhancers to a list of players that includes New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.
The suspensions could be coming within the next few weeks, according to the report.
Tony Bosch, the Biogenesis of America clinic founder suspected of supplying the drugs, agreed this week to cooperate with MLB investigators in the case. Meetings between Bosch and MLB officials could begin within a week.
MLB officials reportedly have clinic records with the names of approximately 20 players that Bosch could authenticate and help solidify their case against the clients. Investigators also are trying to get two other Bosch associates to cooperate.
“Outside the Lines” cited a source that indicated Rodriguez, Braun and others could face a 100-game suspension for a second offense — one for the connection with Bosch and the other for denying use of performance-enhancers.
According to ESPN, other players who could potentially be disciplined are Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautini de los Santos and Jordan Norberto. There are several unknown players also subject to possible suspension. All of those named on the list are in the major leagues except Puello, a outfielder for the New York Mets' Double-A affiliate.
Attempts by ESPN to reach Bosch and his lawyers or MLB were unsuccessful.
Bosch told ESPN recently that he had no knowledge about performance-enhancing drugs.
“I have been accused, tried and convicted in the media. And so I think [I] have been falsely accused throughout the media,” he told ESPN's Pedro Gomez. “I've done nothing wrong.”