Major League Baseball has made a major break in its investigation of a Miami-based clinic that provided performance-enhancing drugs to about 20 players, including the New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez and the Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun. ESPN reports that the league could hand out 100-game suspensions to the players in coming weeks.
Miami New Times broke news that the Biogenesis clinic, headed by a problem-plagued entrepreneur named Tony Bosch, counted MLB all-stars amongst its clients.
Sources tell ESPN that Bosch has now agreed to work with the MLB. In exchange the league "will drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch in March; indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation; provide personal security for him. Baseball will even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that may bring charges against him."
This could spell doom for the players involved. The exact number is unknown, but believed to be around twenty. Some are identified in Bosch's records by their real names, while others are only listed by code names.
MLB's judgment may be harsh. Authorities could seek up to 100-game suspensions for some of the players involved. Such a penalty is usually only given after a second doping offense.
"The argument, the source said, is the players' connection to Bosch constitutes one offense, and previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection or the use of PEDs constitute another," reports ESPN.
Until Bosch's agreement to assist the MLB, the league was forced to work with many of the same records obtained by New Times. You can read excerpts from those records here:
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- "The A Rod Files: Every Mention of the Yankees Slugger in Tony Bosch's Records"
- "The Melky Files: All the Mentions of Melky Cabrera in Tony Bosch's Records"
- "The Tony Bosch Files: Nelson Cruz, Yasmani Grandal, Wayne Odesnik, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Yasmani Grandal, Jimmy Goins and Yuri Sucart's Records"
In addition to those players, Ryan Braun, Bartolo Colon, Gio Gonzalez, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto may also have links to the clinic.
Bosch is expected to begin cooperating with the league sometime this week, and punishment may be handed down in as little as two weeks. Players will be able to fight the suspensions through an appeal process, and hard evidence outside of Bosch's cooperation may be hard to come by. Bosch tended to deal in cash, and possibly never met many of his clients face to face, preferring to deal through friends and couriers.