Sometime after the All-Star break, Major League Baseball plans to suspend Ryan Braun along with as many as 20 other players accused of performance-enhancing drug use, ESPN's Outside the Lines reported Tuesday.
The report highlights the latest chapter in MLB's quest to take down Braun and others implicated in the ongoing investigation into Miami's Biogenesis clinic and its former proprietor, Tony Bosch. The Miami New Times first reported on the story in January. OTL’s own previous digging revealed the scope of baseball's investigation, MLB's attempts to suspend Braun and Alex Rodriguez for longer than the typical first-time offense would typically mandate, and Bosch's cooperation. The only morsel of new news this week is that MLB now seems to have a timetable for its targeted suspensions — though a cynic could argue that "sometime after next week's All-Star break" is an awfully open-ended estimate.
A Miami New Times article reports that six MLB players purchased a variety of drugs from Miami-based antiaging clinic Biogenesis, marking the latest jolt for a sport that's gone from willful compliance to zealotry when it comes to PED suspicions.
The article lists Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Yasmani Grandal among the players who allegedly bought performance-enhancing drugs from the clinic and its former proprietor, Anthony Bosch. These allegations are the result of a three-month investigation by the Miami New Times, where the focal point of the evidence is a spreadsheet kept by Bosch, said to contain a list of his clients, and a stack of notebooks found by Juan Garcia. The article notes that Garcia was a former client of Bosch's who invested in the clinic. Rodriguez admitted in a 2009 press conference that he'd used PEDs years earlier while playing with the Texas Rangers, at a time when said substances weren't specifically outlawed by Major League Baseball. Cabrera, Colon, and Grandal were all suspended last year for violating MLB's drug policy. We'll get to their cases later.
The other two active major leaguers named in the article, Gio Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz, had never been publicly linked to performance-enhancing drugs before publication of the New Times piece. The mention of Gonzalez, in particular, is jarring, given the screaming lack of evidence he did anything wrong and the guilt by association he's now forced to endure.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
Tiger Woods moved into second place on the all-time PGA tour wins list behind Sam Snead by out-dueling Bo Van Pelt to win the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional. "Operation Kill Tiger must now enter the next phase," said a member of the Sam Snead Legacy Foundation on a clandestine phone call. "Also, we should think about changing the name. Not very subtle, Gene. Son of a gun, I did it again. No names on the phone. Always forgetting that. Always forgetting that."