As expected, Major League Baseball suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez without pay for the rest of this season and all of next season. Twelve other players were suspended, making it baseball’s biggest mass suspension ever.
The suspension, according to a statement from commissioner Bud Selig, is “based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years.” A-Rod has been linked to the now closed Biogenesis anti-aging clinic.
While Rodriguez is suspended, he’s likely to appeal the punishment, which would make it likely he’ll be in the Yankee line-up tonight in Chicago against the White Sox. A-Rod’s ban is for 211 games, and will cost him approximately $34 million.That’s about $9 million for the rest of the 2013 season, and $25 million for all of the 2014 season.
The 12 other players linked to Biogenesis accepted 50-game suspensions. They include:
- Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz
- Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralt
- San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera
- Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli
- Yankee minor leaguer Fernando Martinez
- Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo
- New York Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin
- Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero
- New York Mets minor leaguer Cesar Puello
- Minor leaguer SergioEscalona
- Free agent Jordan Norberto
- Minor Leaguer Fautino de los Santos.
Here’s the statement from commissioner Bud Selig:
“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.”