Major League Baseball is "honing in" on Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez as it attempts to gather enough evidence during its probe of the Biogenesis clinic to discipline the players, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
The league plans to interview players after spring training ends and has discussed offering immunity to major leaguers in order to gather information, the report states.
Braun and Rodriguez could be suspended based on both their links to the clinic, which allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to at least 90 players, and their providing of false information to MLB during past investigations.
In addition to being the two biggest names in the Biogenesis logbooks, Rodriguez and Braun have in the past provided MLB with information about alleged PED use the league believes to be false, prompting the extra scrutiny, according to the sources. Following the admission he had used steroids from 2001-03, Rodriguez said in an interview with the league he had not since used any PEDs. Braun maintained his innocence after testing positive for synthetic testosterone during the 2011 postseason. An arbitrator overturned a suspension based on chain-of-custody issues with the urine sample. Alex Rodriguez says he has no relationship with the Biogenesis clinic. (AP)
"There's no question in my mind they want those two guys," one source involved told Yahoo! Sports.
The MLBPA has considered getting involved in the investigation, but for now the league plans to conduct the process on its own -- though the union will be involved in potential immunity deals and/or penalties levied against the players.
The league will use the investigation to at least form a "fuller picture" of the clinic and its founder, Anthony Bosch, and is looking for additional PED users in various areas.
During the nascent stages of its investigation into the Miami-area clinic, MLB has targeted three separate camps: players connected to the University of Miami, where Braun played in college; players connected to Rodriguez, who the Biogenesis documents obtained by the Miami New Times paint as a central figure; and players connected to the ACES sports agency, which has had 10 players named publicly. Investigators have spent equal amounts of time looking into the three threads, two sources told Yahoo! Sports.