According to ESPN reports, Major League Baseball has succeeded in getting the head of a now-shuttered Florida anti-aging clinic accused of giving players performance-enhancing drugs to cooperate with its investigations. Several high profile players may be suspended if there is evidence that they took banned substances.
Anthony Bosch had initially resisted cooperation with the league, even after it filed a lawsuit against him and others associated with Biogenesis of America in March. Baseball investigators have been unable to obtain information verifying which, if any, league players received performance-enhancing drugs from the clinic.
Some of those accused of violating league rules by taking such substances provided by the Florida clinic are Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, and Melky Cabrera of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Major League Baseball has thus far declined to comment on the case, and it has not been verified that it would attempt to suspend all the players it suspects were involved. The Major League Baseball Players Association issued a statement Wednesday cautioning against suspending players before there is evidence proving wrongdoing:
The Players Association has been in regular contact with the Commissioner's Office regarding the Biogenesis investigation. They are in the process of interviewing players, and every player has been or will be represented by an attorney from the Players Association. The Commissioner's Office has assured us that no decisions regarding discipline have been made or will be made until those interviews are completed. It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged those investigations.
The Players Association has every interest in both defending the rights of players and in defending the integrity of our joint program. We trust that the Commissioner's Office shares these interests.
Sean Gregory of Keeping Score said that because of the way baseball is structured to focus on games rather than individual players, doping scandals won't drive fans away from the sport:
Ryan Braun is a fantastic player. But even before he was embroiled in doping scandals, who outside Milwaukee, besides Brewers and maybe some hardcore baseball fans, would stop what they're doing just to watch that guy hit? Who besides Brewers fans are really invested in Braun's performance? So if he goes down for doping — last night Braun again dismissed the allegations — the business of baseball doesn't change. Brewers fans are angry, because they lost a key player, and that makes them less competitive. And they may feel betrayed by Braun. But the games go on, to capture their attention, to distract them, every day.
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