According to ESPN, Major League Baseball is planning to suspend at least 20 players, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, for their connections to a clinic that distributed performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
But despite the mounting evidence, MLB’s suspensions are far from a slam dunk and if they are not careful, it could blow up in their face.
The big turning point in the investigation happened when the owner of Biogenesis, Tony Bosch, agreed to tell MLB which players received drugs from his clinic.
But there are a lot of reasons to question Bosch’s credibility.
The biggest issue is that Bosch only agreed to help MLB and name names after his own financial and personal situations went south. Bosch is reportedly broke and facing a lawsuit by MLB that would require an expensive defence.
In addition, he could potentially face criminal charges for his work at the clinic.
It is easy to expect the players will claim Bosch has plenty of reasons to lie. In fact, he previously told ESPN that “[he doesn’t] know anything about performance-enhancing drugs.”
This type of evidence would have a hard time holding up in a criminal court.
But the problem for the players is that MLB does not need to prove guilt in the court of law. Rather, MLB only needs to make sure they have sufficient evidence to convince an arbitrator that they are acting within the confines of the collective bargaining agreement.
At this point, MLB must feel Bosch’s testimony is enough. But if an arbitrator rules otherwise, overturning more than 20 suspensions would be a huge embarrassment to Major League Baseball.
And once again, fans will feel the sport is dirty and that Major League Baseball can’t do anything about it.
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