Hefty Doping Ban Expected For Alex Rodriguez

Former Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Fay Vincent says he has a feeling that Alex Rodriguez could be in for some harsh treatment. Vincent, though privy to details of the latest doping sweep overshadowing the sport, said his current MLB chief Bud Selig may decide to make an example of the famed New York Yankees slugger.

MLB’s active home run leader and highest-paid player, Rodriguez, has been implicated in a scandal that has already resulted in former National League MVP Ryan Braun being suspended Monday for the rest of the 2013 season. Braun decided not to contest the case made against him by MLB investigators and accepted a 65-game ban, plus any potential playoff games.

The 75-year Vincent remarked it seems to him that A-Rod is trying to make a deal like Braun and he thinks he’s trying to make a good deal and added that he doesn’t think a good deal is do-able. The ex-MLB chief said his guess is that A-Rod is going to be out for a very long period of time and it may be that his case is worse (than Braun) and if it is, they may be telling him he may be out for good and that’s a deal he can’t make. Resolution of the cases tied to the now-shut Biogenesis clinic in South Florida was an important step in the fight against doping, says Vincent and added that the performance enhancing drug problem is a threat to all of competitive athletics, from the Olympics to cycling to all sorts of sporting events that are threatened to the extent we let people use performance enhancing drugs. The former commissioner praised the cooperation of the players’ association and its chief Michael Weiner in the current doping case and said stamping out doping would have a fighting chance if the players joined team owners as partners in MLB, in contrast of their approach to the way the player’s association fought him in 1990 when he wrote a commissioner’s memo about the dangers of steroids to the game.

Rodriguez admitted before the 2009 season with the Yankees that he had used anabolic steroids earlier in his career and he according to media reports may have more evidence stacked against him than the MLB probe unearthed on Braun. The 38-year-old Rodriguez is guaranteed about $100 million on a deal that runs through 2017, with an additional $30 million in a series of home-run milestone bonuses due, if he reaches them. Vincent said he can see a very, very tough result for A-Rod that may be cushioned a little bit by a deal on the money side but he doesn’t see Bud giving A-Rod much of a deal and that will send a message that one of these days I’m going to throw someone out for life and we’re not going to have this anymore. Vincent added that would be a very popular move and he thinks it would really go a long way to putting his legacy in very strong shape.

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