Major League Baseball will seek doping suspensions on about 20 players, including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, in the wake of a probe at a Miami clinic, ESPN reported on Tuesday.
If so many bans are imposed for performance-enhancing drugs, it would be the largest drug scandal in North American sports history, according to the report, which said the suspensions could be handed down in the next few weeks.
ESPN, citing unnamed sources, said Tony Bosch, founder of the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, reached a deal this week to help a Major League Baseball investigation into reports the clinic provided players with banned substances.
That could give officials the evidence they need to impose bans.
ESPN said in the website report that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and other players.
That would be the penalty for a second doping violation, with having any connection to Bosch being considered a first offense and statements denying any such link or doping as a repeat violation.
Investigators have had records with player names for more than a month but no word from Bosch as to their accuracy. Bosch could start naming players within a week, possibly some whose names do not appear on seized records.
Others who could face suspension, according to the report, include Toronto’s Melky Cabrera, Oakland’s Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz of Texas, San Diego’s Yasmani Grandal, the Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli and Washington pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
Cabrera, Colon and Grandal were all hit with 50-game bans last year.
The report said Gonzalez received only legal substances from the clinic, as he claimed when reports of the clinic’s doping links to players began in January, and might be exonerated.
Rodriguez and Braun were among those who denied any wrongdoing when the story broke five months ago.