Alex Rodriguez, others suspended by MLB for drugs

By RONALD BLUM , AP Sports Writer Published: August 5, 2013
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photo - In this Aug. 22, 2009, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez watches from the dugout in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.  Baseball is threatening to kick Rodriguez out of the game for life unless the Yankees star agrees not to fight a lengthy suspension for his role in the sport's latest drug scandal, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
In this Aug. 22, 2009, file photo, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez watches from the dugout in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. Baseball is threatening to kick Rodriguez out of the game for life unless the Yankees star agrees not to fight a lengthy suspension for his role in the sport's latest drug scandal, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

NEW YORK (AP) — 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 — 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.

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.

Rodriguez was suspended under both the drug agreement and labor contract.

MLB said the drug penalty was for “his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years.”