Major League Baseball came down hard today on players it found to be involved with Biogenesis, the Florida clinic linked to performance enhancing drugs.
The most prominent among them, New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, was suspended for 211 games - through the end of the 2014 season.
A-Rod, of course, is expected to appeal the suspension and remain eligible this evening - which happens to mark his 2013 debut - pending a hearing.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig issued statements on Alex Rodriguez and on the state of baseball's anti-drug program, which he expressed pride in.
Selig said Rodriguez's punishment will begin this week and cover the 2013 and 2014 postseasons, and was covered under the drug program's protocols.
The reason? A-Rod's "use and possession of numerous performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone" over multiple years.
Moreover, he was sanctioned for a bid to "cover-up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the [investigation]."
"Under the terms of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the suspension will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez [challenges] his discipline."
Rodriguez is expected to appeal the suspension immediately and will be allowed to play until his appeal goes before an arbitrator at an undetermined date.
The 12 other players agreed to 50-game suspensions and waived their right to appeal:
- Nelson Cruz, Rangers outfielder
- Everth Cabrera, Padres shortstop
- Jhonny Peralta, Tigers shortstop
- Antonio Bastardo, Phillies reliever
- Francisco Cervelli, Yankees catcher (on DL)
- Jordany Valdespin, Mets outfielder (minors)
- Jesus Montero, Mariners catcher (minors)
- Cesar Puello, Mets outfielder (minors)
- Sergio Escalona, Astros pitcher (minors)
- Fernando Martinez, Yankees outfielder (minors)
- Fautino De Los Santos, free-agent pitcher
- Jordan Norberto, free-agent pitcher
Facing a possible lifetime ban, Alex Rodriguez did not waive his right to appeal. The Yankees still expect Rodriguez to be eligible to play Monday night.