• Major League Baseball

Drug cheat A-Rod handed huge ban

ESPN staff
August 6, 2013
Fans made clear their views when Alex Rodriguez played on Monday night © AP

One of baseball's biggest names, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, has been banned for what amounts to 211 matches for alleged doping offences. He will miss the remainder of the current season - pending an appeal - and all of 2014.

Twelve other players involved with the South Florida clinic Biogenesis have been banned for 50 games. The news is yet another blow for the already tarnished image baseball has of being a game where drug abuse is all too common.

Major League Baseball made clear the scale of Rodriguez's deceit, with Bud Selig, the MLB commissioner, referring to Rodriguez's "use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years".

He went on to say Rodriguez had attempted "to cover-up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation".

While Rodriguez can play on pending an appeal, the 12 other players agreed to deals for their suspensions in which they gave up the right to appeals.

The players' union made a late appeal to MLB for a deal for Rodriguez but was told there would be no more negotiations.

The Yankees have said they expected Rodriguez to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, attempting to obstruct MLB's investigation and not being truthful with MLB in the past when he discussed his relationship with Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty two years ago to a federal charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States from Canada.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd