TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The dense cloud of performance-enhancing drug use has hung over Major League Baseball for the past decade. Now, as the second half of the MLB season begins, the league’s assault on PEDs is beginning to write it’s next chapter.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports suspensions could be coming for nearly 20 Major Leaguers, including All-Stars Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.
"This has been a very difficult process,” Rodriguez told CNN as he rehabs a hip injury in the minor leagues. “I hate all the noise, but hopefully that goes away soon and we can get back to playing baseball.”
“The truth hasn't changed,” adds Braun, who fought and won a case against a previous drug charge. “I'm still going to respect the process and not discuss anything in the media; beyond that I think the vast majority of stories that have come out are inaccurate, but aside from that, I'm not going to say anything else about it.”
The ESPN report indicates MLB may try to suspend some players for 100 games for their dealings with Tony Bosch and his Biogenesis clinic in South Florida. Bosch has been assisting MLB in their investigation.
If players do face suspension, their first line of defense will be to go through arbitration with the league and the players union. Still, in the event a 100-game suspension is upheld, a lawsuit is not out of the question.
Even with all the negative attention PED use or even association with a PED dealer brings, some major leaguers still try to skirt the system, even if those players are potential Hall of Famers.
“I don’t think that people realize the amount of pressure these guys put on themselves to be that caliber of player,” says FSU Hall of Famer and former MLB player John-Ford Griffin. “They're not doing it for the money. They're not doing it for the fame. They're doing it basically on a pride thing.”
Griffin played professional baseball for 10 years, and was in clubhouses as a member of five different teams.
“ You get guys who have millions of dollars, there's always going to be a way, if you have that much money, to go around the system.”