Major League Baseball will look to suspend about 20 players, including sluggers Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, in connection with a Miami-area clinic at the centre of an continuing performance-enhancing drug scandal, according to an ESPN report.
The report claims that Tony Bosch, founder of the now-closed anti-aging Biogenesis of America clinic, has agreed to cooperate with MLB officials, and will produce the names of the players he provided drugs to.
Braun would not talk about the matter after his Milwaukee Brewers rallied to defeat the Oakland A’s 4-3 Tuesday night.
"I've already addressed everything related to the Miami situation,'' Braun said. "I addressed it in spring training. The truth has not changed. I don't know the specifics of the story that came out today, but I've already addressed it. I've commented on it. I'll say nothing further about it."
Cabrera was suspended 50 games last Aug. 15 as a member of the San Francisco Giants for a positive testosterone test.
He returned to San Francisco's AT&T Park Tuesday for the first time since he was suspended by Major League Baseball. The outfielder, who was leading the National League in batting at the time, apologized for letting the city down and fans down.
"That was an ugly time for me and my family," Cabrera said in the dugout before batting practice prior to the Jays two-game series with the World Series champion Giants. "I feel very sorry for what happened. I regret what happened. It's in the past. … That was 2012. Now, it's 2013 and I'm focused on playing baseball."
Toronto Blue Jays spokesman Jay Stenhouse told CBC News Network that the team "will not comment on rumour and speculation. That said, we fully support Major League Baseball's efforts to eradicate performance enhancing substances from the game of baseball."
Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon and Washington hurler Gio Gonzalez could also face discipline. However, ESPN reports Gonzalez only received legal substances.
A-Rod, Braun facing 100-game suspension?
Rodriguez, Braun and others could face a 100-game suspension — the infraction for a second doping offence — according to ESPN.
The report suggests that MLB may seek to ban players for not only for having a connection to Bosch, which would be one offence, but also providing previous statements to baseball officials denying any PED use.
In January, the Miami New Times, an alternative weekly newspaper, reported that Rodriguez was among the big leaguers listed in Biogenesis of America's records. New Times said it obtained records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star game MVP Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Colon and 2011 AL championship series MVP Cruz.
Later, Yahoo Sports! reported that Braun's name also appeared in the records. Braun won the NL MVP in 2011.
In April, New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano denied any involvement with the South Florida clinic after a report linked an associate of his to the facility.
The clinic operated out of an office park in Coral Gables, Fla.