TORONTO – Major League Baseball is seeking to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and others linked to the now-closed Biogensis clinic accused of supplying performance-enhancing drugs, and what that means for Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera wasn’t immediately clear.
A person familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Tuesday night that Tony Bosch, who founded the Miami-based centre, will co-operate with baseball investigators under an agreement reached this week, and according to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” which first reported the story, the information Bosch provides may be used to ban Braun and Rodriguez for 100 games, the penalty for a second doping infraction.
That the report also suggests MLB officials are considering meting out dual punishments for Braun and Rodriguez for, one, having a connection to Bosch, and two, previously denying any ties or PED use, should give the Blue Jays pause over Cabrera, who served a 50-game doping ban for testosterone use last summer.
While the understanding during spring training was that Cabrera’s account with MLB was cleared as a result of that suspension and that any further punishment was unlikely, at this point it’s too early to speculate whether that still holds true.
Much of that hinges on what evidence Bosch provides, and whether he's connected to a previously unknown doping skeleton in Cabrera's closet. If his only information on the left-fielder is tied to what led to last summer's ban - which is believed to have resulted from products he obtained from Biogenesis - he should be in the clear.
That was the read the Blue Jays had back when Cabrera reported to spring training Feb. 15, as GM Alex Anthopoulos replied to a question on whether the then developing Biogenesis scandal might lead to further sanctions by saying: "In terms of what's gone on (with Biogenesis), there hasn't been any change with respect to him, as far as we're concerned in talking to the league."
Either way, it's clear that Major League Baseball's primary targets here are Braun, who had a 50-game doping ban overturned on appeal in February 2012, and Rodriguez, who tested positive for steroids during the survey testing season of 2003 when players were exempt from discipline.
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" also said up to 20 other players may be targeted for discipline by MLB including Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal - both of whom tested positive for testosterone and were suspended last year like Cabrera - Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto.