Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees are facing major suspensions from the MLB over the use of performance enhancing drugs. The two players - along with 18 others - could be slapped with suspensions of 100 games, nearly two thirds of a season.
The players are in trouble with the MLB over reports linking them to the Biogenesis Clinic in Miami. Biogenesis purported to be an anti-aging clinic. In January of this year, though, some of the records from Biogenesis (which had recently closed) found their way to the Miami New Times. These records read like a virtual Who's Who of professional sports, including Major League Baseball. Names like Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colón, and others were listed among the clinic's patients.
The MLB, as you probably know, takes a rather stern view of the use of performance enhancing drugs, hitting players who are caught doping with lengthy suspensions. According to ESPN today, Braun met with MLB officials on June 29 to answer questions about his link to the clinic. Or, more accurately, to not answer questions. Braun reportedly declined to give the MLB information about the clinic or his involvement with it.
Rumors suggest that A-Rod - who is currently rehabbing from hip surgery in the minors - has a meeting of his own coming up, but he denied knowing anything about it, though he did say that the players involved were under strict instructions not to talk about the case.
This is not the first time Rodriguez or Braun have been linked to PEDs. Several years ago A-Rod's name came up in a list of players who had tested positive during a time when the MLB was testing players anonymously (supposedly) in an attempt to gauge the scope of the problem. He admitted to using the drugs during his time with the Texas Rangers, but denied having juiced in years.
Braun, meanwhile, narrowly avoided a suspension for PED use in 2012. In December, 2011, results of a urine test he had taken in October were leaked to the media. The test results showed elevated testosterone levels, suggesting the use of performance enhancing drugs. Braun appealed the results in January of 2012, narrowly winning his appeal.