A Biogenesis investigation could lead to up to 20 MLB players being suspended in the second half of the season, including All-Stars Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez.
While MLB officials have said no decision has been made, sources say the investigation into the South Florida clinic accused of providing performance-enhancing drugs has close to two dozen players looking at lengthy suspensions.
The Biogenesis suspensions could have a widespread impact on the second half of the MLB season. The league is reportedly looking at 50- to 100-game suspensions for the players involved, leaving a cloud of uncertainty over many pennant races. The New York Yankees are in the midst of a battle for the AL East and wildcard, and are looking forward to the return of Alex Rodriguez.
Ryan Braun would also miss 25 games against division leaders in the NL Central if he is suspended.
Then there is also the mess of the potential appeals. Sources say MLB is determined to keep the normally private process in the public eye this time, but if multiple players from rival teams are suspended and seeking appeals the league must be careful to keep the process moving quickly and fairly.
The Biogenesis scandal could also pose difficulties for the Major League Baseball Players Association, which has the task of defending players at the same time as it tries to rid performance-enhancing drugs from the game.
“There’s no question, we have two things we’re trying to accomplish here,” said Michael Weiner, the union’s executive director. “On the one hand, we’re defending players who have a defense. On the other hand, we have an obligation to enforce the joint drug program. If we have evidence that a player violated the program, then we have to do something about it. Is that a conflict? I could imagine circumstances where it could be a conflict. But that’s what a union does all the time, and that’s what we’re doing here. It’s not much different than what we’ve done in the past. It’s just higher-profile, I guess.”
Baseball has a bit longer to delay the pain however. Sources say it will likely be several more weeks before the Biogenesis investigation has completed and suspensions are announced.