MLB officially announces suspensions of Alex Rodriguez, 12 others

August 05, 2013 - 11:18 am
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Major League Baseball announced the suspensions related to the Biogenesis clinic on Monday at 3 p.m., and confirmed that Alex Rodriguez will be allowed to play while he appeals his suspension that runs through the 2014 season. MLB said Rodriguez's 211-game suspension was based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited PEDs, including testosterone and HGH, over multiple years, as well as attempts to cover up his violations and to "obstruct and frustrate" MLB's investigation. Said commissioner Bud Selig in a statement: "It was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do." The 12 players who received 50-game suspensions and will not appeal are: Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Mets minor league outfielder Jordany Valdespin, Mets minor league outfielder Cesar Puello, Yankees minor league outfielder Fernando Martinez, Astros minor league pitcher Sergio Escalona, Padres minor league pitcher Fautino De Los Santos and free agent pitcher Jordan Norberto. Cruz's willingness to accept his punishment without an appeal reportedly came as a surprise to his team. In a statement, Cruz acknowledged that he made "an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error." Stated Cruz: "I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness [a gastrointestinal infection that he said went undiagnosed for more than a month] was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers' fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs." Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, all of whom already served 50-game suspensions as a result of their violations of the joint drug prevention and treatment program stemming from their connections to Biogenesis, will not receive additional discipline. MLB noted that its investigation found no violations by Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez or Orioles infielder Danny Valencia, whose names had been linked to Biogenesis. Following is the statement Selig released after the suspensions were announced: "Major League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports. I am proud of the comprehensive nature of our efforts '€“ not only with regard to random testing, groundbreaking blood testing for human Growth Hormone and one of the most significant longitudinal profiling programs in the world, but also our investigative capabilities, which proved vital to the Biogenesis case. Upon learning that players were linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we vigorously pursued evidence that linked those individuals to violations of our Program. We conducted a thorough, aggressive investigation guided by facts so that we could justly enforce our rules. "Despite the challenges this situation has created during a great season on the field, we pursued this matter because it was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. For weeks, I have noted the many players throughout the game who have strongly voiced their support on this issue, and I thank them for it. I appreciate the unwavering support of our owners and club personnel, who share my ardent desire to address this situation appropriately. I am also grateful to the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society and our club physicians, who were instrumental in the banning of amphetamines and whose expertise remains invaluable to me. As an institution, we have made unprecedented strides together. "It is important to point out that 16,000 total urine and blood tests were conducted on players worldwide under MLB Drug Programs in 2012. With the important additions of the hGH testing and longitudinal profiling this season, we are more confident than ever in the effectiveness of the testing program. Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way. "This case resoundingly illustrates that the strength of our Program is not limited only to testing.  We continue to attack this issue on every front -- from science and research, to education and awareness, to fact-finding and investigative skills. Major League Baseball is proud of the enormous progress we have made, and we look forward to working with the players to make the penalties for violations of the Drug Program even more stringent and a stronger deterrent. "As a social institution with enormous social responsibilities, Baseball must do everything it can to maintain integrity, fairness and a level playing field. We are committed to working together with players to reiterate that performance-enhancing drugs will not be tolerated in our game."
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