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Report: Rodriguez, Braun, others could face suspensions

The SportsXchange

The largest mass suspension for performance-enhancing drugs in an American sports league could be at hand.

ESPN's "Outside the Lines" reported Tuesday that Major League Baseball could suspend about 20 players with ties to the Miami-area clinic under investigation for distributing performance enhancers to a list of players that includes New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.

The suspensions could be coming within the next few weeks, according to the report.

Braun said he didn't hear about the new allegations until after the Brewers' 4-3, 10-inning win over the Oakland A's on Tuesday night. He said, "The truth is still the truth," and that he's addressed the situation previously.

Earlier this year, Braun's camp maintained that the slugger's contact with Biogenesis was only related to mounting a defense in the successful appeal of a positive drug test.

Tony Bosch, the Biogenesis of America clinic founder suspected of supplying the drugs, agreed this week to cooperate with MLB investigators in the case, according to ESPN. Meetings between Bosch and MLB officials could begin within a week.

MLB officials reportedly have clinic records with the names of approximately 20 players that Bosch could authenticate and help solidify their case against the clients. Investigators also are trying to get two other Bosch associates to cooperate.

"Outside the Lines" cited a source that indicated Rodriguez, Braun and others could face a 100-game suspension for a second offense -- one for the connection with Bosch and the other for denying use of performance-enhancers.

According to ESPN, other players who could potentially be disciplined are Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautini de los Santos and Jordan Norberto. There are several unknown players also subject to possible suspension. All of those named on the list are in the major leagues except Puello, a outfielder for the New York Mets' Double-A affiliate.

Cabrera was suspended 50 games last year for a positive drug test while he was a member of the San Francisco Giants. Now playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, who were in San Francisco on Tuesday, Cabrera was asked by USA Today's Spanish-speaking reporter before the game if he feared another suspension.

Cabrera responded, "If they suspend me again, I think that would be a harsh punishment because I already served my sentence."

Attempts by ESPN to reach Bosch and his lawyers or MLB were unsuccessful.

Bosch told ESPN recently that he had no knowledge about performance-enhancing drugs.

"I have been accused, tried and convicted in the media. And so I think (I) have been falsely accused throughout the media," he told ESPN's Pedro Gomez. "I've done nothing wrong."

Bosch also could be facing a potential criminal investigation. He recently received a cease-and-desist letter from the Florida State Department of Health.

Bosch's name first surfaced last summer in connection with Miami-area players Cabrera, Colon and Grandal, who tested positive for testosterone and received 50-game suspensions from MLB during the 2012 season.

ESPN also reported that MLB is interested in determining whether Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano had a connection to Bosch or the clinic. Sonia Cruz, a spokeswoman for Cano's foundation, is listed in clinic documents.
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