ESPN: Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun expected to be suspended after All-Star break

USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN's Outside the Lines, suspensions could be coming following the All-Star break next week for the players connected to the Miami Biogenesis clinic including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun. Sources have told OTL that Braun refused to answer questions during MLB's investigative interview with him on June 29. The league has not yet interviewed Rodriguez, but that is expected to take place within the next week.

MLB has been gathering information from clinic owner Tony Bosch since he agreed to cooperate with their investigation last month. The commissioner's office is seeking 100-game suspensions for Braun and Rodriguez, even though neither player has been suspended for steroids in the past. Their justification in that length of suspension is that the players are guilty of multiple violations for steroid usage and lying about it. Obviously, any suspension is going to be tackled head on by the Players Union which will cite the lack of language in the CBA suggesting that such a suspension is possible for a first time offender.

With all the news about threatening lawsuits and attempts at extorting money, it's really unclear which side looks worse in the matter. MLB is trusting a sketchy institution that was only willing to provide documentation when threatened with financial ruin, and then was only willing to sell their evidence to the highest bidder. If this plays out the way that Outside the Lines suggests it will, the next few weeks should be full of appeals and mud slinging on the part of both sides. The real question should be how many of the players who are connected to Biogenesis managed to avoid detection through MLB's drug testing policy. If it's failing so badly in this particular situation, who knows how many countless others are avoiding detection on a daily basis.

Should this report about upcoming suspensions be valid, Francisco Cervelli's name was also reportedly found on Biogenesis documents which could mean more time missed for the Yankees' catcher. After a recent setback forced him back two weeks in his rehab work, a suspension would mean being without him for almost the rest of the season. With so little offensive production coming from third base and the catcher spot in this year's lineup, losing both players would be a big blow to the hope of restoring the offense to an acceptable level over the course of the next month or two.

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