Alex Rodriguez Suspended By MLB For Performance Enhancing Drugs
By The Associated Press, with addtional reporting from National Public Radio
Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case.
This is the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago.
Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension last month and previous punishments bring to 18 the total number of players disciplined for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs. Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, was the first to accept a suspension from Major League Baseball.
Because of injuries, Rodriguez, who has said he will fight the suspension, hasn't played for the Yankees since last fall. But he is scheduled to return to baseball during the Yankees game against the White Sox Monday night. Major League Baseball said that his "suspension will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez files a grievance challenging his discipline."
The harshest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, a three-time Most Valuable Player and baseball's highest-paid star. His suspension covers 211 games, starting Thursday, and he is expected to appeal.
The New York Yankees slugger admitted four years ago that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with Texas from 2001-03 but has repeatedly denied using them since.
According to the league, the other players receiving 50-game suspensions are: Cruz, Cabrera, Peralta, Antonio Bastardo, Francisco Cervelli, Fautino De Los Santos, Sergio Escalona, Fernando Martinez, Jesus Montero, Jordan Norberto, Cesar Puello and Jordany Valdespin.