Alex Rodriguez is among nine players who may be suspended this week for obtaining performance-enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball told the players’ union, according to the New York Daily News.
Most of the players will be given 50-game suspensions, the newspaper said, without identifying the source of its information. Rodriguez, the New York Yankees’ All-Star third baseman, is among others who face harsher penalties for lying or interfering in the investigation of the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic, according to the Daily News.
League investigators have evidence of e-mails, text messages and telephone records that show Rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs in 2010, 2011 and 2012, although he said he only used banned substances from 2001 to 2003, the Daily News said. Rodriguez’s lawyer, David Cornwell, said two days ago on ESPN radio in New York that he’s preparing for an appeal if the player is suspended.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon won’t be suspended because they served bans last season for their links to Biogenesis of America LLC in South Florida, the Daily News said.
Others will escape discipline because MLB investigators couldn’t find evidence to warrant suspensions, the report said.
Players’ representatives may tell the league by today if they plan to challenge the suspensions, the Daily News said, citing a person familiar with yesterday’s discussions.
Other players associated with Biogenesis include Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and San Diego Padres infielder Everth Cabrera, the Daily News said.
Rodriguez hasn’t played in the majors this season following hip surgery in January. He completed a 20-day rehabilitation program with Yankees minor-league teams before sustaining a mild thigh strain that postponed his return to the New York roster.
A three-time American League Most Valuable Player, Rodriguez may face a suspension through the 2014 season, which would be the longest drug-related ban in the sport’s history.
Rodriguez, the active career home-run hitter in the major leagues with 647, would still have three years and $61 million remaining on his record 10-year, $275 million deal even if he’s banned without pay for the rest of this season and in 2014.
Ryan Braun, the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 2011, was suspended without pay on July 22 for the final 65 games of the season for unspecified drug violations. The Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder will forfeit $3.4 million of his $8.5 million salary.