Let the guessing games begin again.
Five more baseball players — unnamed at this point — have reportedly been linked to performance-enhancing drugs by the DEA as part of its "Operation Strikeout," the government's investigation that started at the Biogenesis clinic and recently caused the arrest of clinic owner Tony Bosch.
That's according to ESPN's T.J. Quinn, who also reports in his latest piece that MLB is leaning on the DEA to get those names. The league wants to start the punishment process ASAP.
One source said five players have been identified during the investigation, although it is not clear whether all five are on major league rosters. Two law enforcement sources said the evidence that the players received banned substances was compelling and that they expect the players will be suspended by MLB.
According to sources familiar with the investigation, the players identified in "Operation Strikeout" were not connected to Anthony Bosch or the Biogenesis clinic he founded, but to other defendants in the case, including Yuri Sucart, the cousin of Alex Rodriguez.
Cousin Yuri, more than just A-Rod's gopher, eh? Did he have his own PED ring? He was arrested on Tuesday, like Bosch, so it sounds as if Sucart could be starring in "Biogenesis: The Spinoff," which certainly won't do anything to keep A-Rod out of the news until next season.
It'll be curious to see how quickly the government cooperates with MLB on this, and to what lengths MLB will go to otherwise get the information it's seeking. In "Biogenesis: Chapter 1," there were allegations that MLB acted unethically to nail players such as A-Rod and Ryan Braun on PED charges, including knowingly buying stolen documents. With Bud Selig set to leave his seat as MLB commissioner soon, it figures the league won't want this process to drag on too long.
In all, 14 players were suspended because of ties to Biogenesis, some last season and some in 2012. Most were for 50 games, but Ryan Braun received a 66-game sentence while A-Rod got 211 games. His punishment was eventually knocked down to 162 games at appeal.
Unless anyone in this new crop of players is a repeat offender, 50 games would be his sentence, per MLB's Joint Drug Agreement.
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