A-Rod suspended through 2014, will appeal; 12 others given lesser bans
Major League Baseball has suspended Alex Rodriguez through the end of the 2014 season for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Rodriguez will appeal his suspension and be in the lineup when the Yankees face the White Sox in Chicago on Monday night.
Twelve other players, including Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz and Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, were also suspended for 50 games for their connections to the Biogenesis wellness clinic at the heart of baseball’s most recent scandal over performance-enhancing drugs. No other players are expected to appeal their bans.
A-Rod’s suspension is the longest non-lifetime ban in baseball history and by far the longest ever handed down under the JDA, which specifies a 50-game ban for a first-time offender, 100 games for a second offense and a lifetime ban for a third positive test. A-Rod admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-2003 while with the Texas Rangers and failed a supposedly anonymous survey test in ’03 but has not failed a test since punishments were first instituted in 2004. His 211-game suspension is due to Commissioner’s Bud Selig’s ability to levy punishments for non-analytic positives. MLB reportedly has evidence of Rodriguez using PEDs from 2010-2012 and he is also alleged to have directed other players to Biogenesis and to have attempted to obtain and destroy evidence from the clinic.
In addition to Rodriguez, Cruz and Peralta, the other players on 40-man rosters to be suspended are Mets outfielders Jordany Valdespin and Cesar Puello, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli (currently injured), Mariners catcher Jesus Montero (who is playing at Triple-A Tacoma). Minor leaguers to be suspended are Sergio Escalona of the Astros and Fernando Martinez of the Yankees. Two free agents, pitchers Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto, have also been suspended. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was handed a 65-game suspension last month and will sit out the remainder of the season. Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon, Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal were also linked to Biogenesis but have already served 50-game suspensions and will not have to miss any additional games.