Report says MLB intends to suspend A-Rod, Ryan Braun in Biogenesis case

Major League Baseball intends to suspend about 20 players — including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun — for their connection to a Miami-based clinic that deals in performance-enhancing substances, according to the ESPN investigative program “Outside the Lines.”

MLB has been conducting a thorough investigation of the now-closed clinic, Biogenesis, after reports surfaced early this year that several star players were listed in its records as having made purchases of banned susbtances. MLB sued the clinic’s founder, Anthony Bosch, in March, for tortious interference.

The key to the MLB’s case for the suspensions, according to the ESPN report, is the cooperation of Bosch, in exchange for which the lawsuit would be dropped.

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Furthermore, the suspensions might be for 100 games — the penalty for a second offense, under major league rules. An ESPN source said baseball commissioner Bud Selig could consider the players’ connection to the clinic one offense and their denial of such a connection when asked by MLB officials a second one.

The Miami New Times reported in January that Rodriguez’s name was listed in the company’s records. The report also listed Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Nelson Cruz as players who had made purchases from the clinic, which according to MLB’s lawsuit supplied substances such as testosterone and human growth hormone.

Rodriguez, the Yankees third baseman who has not played this season because of a hip injury, and Braun, are both former MVPs.