Major League Baseball intends to continue its investigation of the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic by interviewing the players involved and a source said Tuesday that more suspensions could result.
Three of the players linked to the Coral Gables clinic, in Tuesday's report by the Miami New Times, already had been recently disciplined by MLB for performance-enhancing drug-related offenses: Melky Cabrera, who was suspended while playing for the Giants, Bartolo Colon of the Athletics and Yasmani Grandal of the Padres.
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More potential suspensions, however, would have to rely on the extensive and detailed records cited by the New Times rather than a positive PED test, for which there is a limited precedent. In 2007, Jay Gibbons, then with the Orioles, and Jose Guillen, with the Royals at the time, each received 15-game suspensions for purchasing human growth hormone -- the accusations stemming from media reports. A year earlier, former Yankees reliever Jason Grimsley was suspended 50 games after his admitted PED use and home deliveries of HGH.
There is no timetable for MLB's interviewing process -- a source said that officials are preparing for that stage of questioning. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the highest-profile name connected to Biogenesis, already has secured top attorney Roy Black for what may turn out to be a protracted legal battle on a number of fronts.
On his Twitter feed, Gonzalez said: "I've never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will. I've never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substance provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie."
But MLB officials said they had been looking into the clinic's operations for a while, and at least since 2009, when Manny Ramirez was allegedly linked to Anthony Bosch, who ran Biogenesis, and Bosch's father, Pedro Bosch, a Coral Gables doctor. The slugger was saddled with his own 50-game suspension and the appeal process was ultimately derailed by illicit prescription records for a banned substance.
"We remain fully committed to following all leads and seeking the appropriate outcomes for all those who use, purchase and are involved in the distribution of banned substances, which have no place in our game," MLB's statement said. "We are in the midst of an active investigation and are gathering and reviewing information. We will refrain from further comment until this process is complete."
With a positive PED test, the procedure that leads to a suspension is fairly straightforward. Without one, however, the commissioner's office must make a judgment call based on whatever evidence it procures. In the case of the Biogenesis group, that investigation was helped considerably by Tuesday's revelations in the New Times, but the pending interviews will play a crucial role, as well.