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Bud Selig reportedly prepared to ‘throw the book’ at Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez YankeesUnlike Milwuakee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has yet to reach an agreement with Major League Baseball regarding punishment for his alleged involvement with Tony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic. MLB investigators have reportedly uncovered much more evidence against A-Rod than Braun, but the belief is that Rodriguez is going to appeal any suspension he is given.

According to a recent report in the NY Daily News, MLB commissioner Bud Selig is willing to do everything in his power to stop A-Rod from getting his way. Selig reportedly wants Rodriguez gone from the game of baseball — for good.

As the Daily News pointed out, Article XI Section A1b of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement states that the commissioner has the right to take action against a player if it means preserving the integrity of the game. If Selig were able to successfully invoke the clause against A-Rod, he might be able to bypass the grievance process that the MLB Players Association can typically use when appealing drug-related penalties.

MLB investigators reportedly believe Rodriguez tried to “intimidate witnesses and purchase incriminating documents” to protect himself, which is why the violations he has allegedly committed extend far beyond performance-enhancing drug use. If Article XI Section A1b comes into play, Selig is the person who would hear any appeal A-Rod files. And we have an idea of how that would go.

The Daily News insists that MLB officials believe they have enough evidence against A-Rod to prove that he intentionally interfered with their investigation. As a result, Selig may try to bypass the standard arbitration procedures to keep Rodriguez from ever playing again, even if it leads to a federal court case.

At this point, it sounds as though Rodriguez’s best shot at earning some of the roughly $100 million the Yankees still owe him would be to accept a deal with MLB. There have been rumors that he could be facing a suspension that would keep him out until the start of the 2015 season, which is obviously not ideal for the career of a 38-year-old player with two bad hips. It may, however, be the best chance he has at cashing in.

Adrian Peterson views steroids, HGH chatter as a compliment

Adrian PetersonAdrian Peterson’s incredibly fast recovery from a torn ACL and MCL left people shocked, impressed, amazed, and suspicious. The Minnesota Vikings running back tore two ligaments in late December 2011, yet he returned to play in Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season and proceeded to have one of the best seasons for a running back in league history … while playing through a sports hernia no less.

The reigning NFL MVP said last week that he’s looking forward to HGH testing in the league because he wants officials to catch the cheating players. The irony is that many believe Peterson was using some illegal substance that helped him recover from his major knee injury so quickly and perform so well. Peterson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he views those suspicions as a compliment.

Peterson said in the interview that he’s heard the suspicious folks on Twitter and on the field.

[Read more...]

Alex Rodriguez suspension could come this week, keep him out through 2015

Alex Rodriguez YankeesNew York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is supposed to return from injury this week, but there are a number of scenarios that could prevent that from happening. For starters, we have no idea if the team will declare him healthy enough to play after the strained quad saga that has developed over the past week or so. Then, there is the looming possibility of a significant suspension.

Ryan Braun has already been suspended for his alleged involvement with Tony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic, but that’s because he essentially took a plea deal. Rodriguez and others may not have been willing to do the same, but the NY Post reported on Sunday that Major League Baseball could announce suspensions for A-Rod and as many as 15 others this week.

According to the Post, MLB is looking to officially announce the rest of the suspensions before there are less than 50 games remaining in the season. The penalty for a first offense is 50 games. As we have mentioned before, Rodriguez could be treated as more than just a first-time offender.

If the evidence against A-Rod is damning and it can be proved that he interfered with the investigation, his suspension could reach well beyond 50 games. Rodriguez also admitted to previous performance-enhancing drug use from 2001-2003, though there were no official penalties in place at that time. However, all of the aforementioned PED trouble could reportedly inspire Bud Selig and MLB officials to suspend A-Rod for the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014.

A lifetime ban is also reportedly still on the table, though it is unlikely it would stick if Rodriguez appealed. At age 38, a suspension through the 2014 season could basically end A-Rod’s career given his injury history. He would likely stick around anyway to collect as much of the roughly $100 million remaining on his contract as he can.

Robert Fick admits he used steroids, guesses baseball is 90 percent clean

Los Angeles Local News, Weather, and Traffic

Robert Fick, a one-time all-star with the Detroit Tigers who spent 10 seasons in the big leagues from 1998-2007, admitted on Thursday that he used steroids twice during his career. Fick told My Fox LA that he used steroids to help him recover from an injury rather than to boost his performance. He also said he thinks MLB’s drug testing program has helped clean up the game.
Robert Fick
“I believe baseball’s really cleaned it up,” Fick told KTTV. “Back when all the testing started, I believe a lot of guys were on something to try to stay on the field and put up numbers. If I was to throw a number out there today, I might say the game is probably 90 percent cleaned up. They’ve done a really good job. The testing is strict.”

Fick admitted he tried steroids during his career.

“I’ve tried it, yeah. Two times. I never did it when I was in the offseason trying to lift weights, get stronger to hit home runs. I was a young player. I had three or four shoulder injuries and I was told it would help me get back on the field, stay on the field. I separated my shoulder in 2000 — they called it a third-degree separation — I got on some juice, and next thing you know, at 3-4 weeks I was back in the lineup.”

Fick tried to explain the psychology behind players using steroids.

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Adrian Peterson is certain there are players in NFL are using HGH

Adrian-Peterson-Wants-to-Play-for-Fantasy-OwnersThe NFL and NFL Players Association are getting close to reaching an agreement that would implement testing for human growth hormone. While the progress is probably making some players nervous, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he can’t wait for the increased testing.

Peterson’s return to form last year after suffering a torn ACL at the end of the 2011 season was nothing short of incredible. The level he played at after the injury almost defied science, which is why some have speculated that he used performance-enhancing drugs to recover so quickly. According to ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert, Peterson wants HGH testing to help put that chatter to rest.

“I don’t worry about those types of supplements, using those, because I’m all natural,” Peterson said Friday at Vikings training camp. “I work hard. This right here, it’s a test for me personally, that I know that, ‘Hey, I’m clean as a whistle,’ and other guys as well. And then, like I say, it’ll bring some guys to the forefront and be like, ‘Hey, I guess this is how this guy’s been performing so well.’”

While he insists he has never used a banned substance, Peterson said he is certain there are players in the league currently using HGH.

“You’ve got HGH, something that doesn’t show up on a test, and you’ve got guys out there trying to provide for their families,” he said. “They’re going to try to get that edge, get that advantage, especially if they’re not worried about trying to get caught. Yeah, it’s being used.”

Contrary to popular belief, steroids aren’t only an issue in baseball. The confidentiality of failed tests in the NFL protects players’ images, which makes it even more tempting. HGH testing should help counter some of that.

MLB offered Biogenesis whistleblower Porter Fischer $125,000

MLB was so desperate to nail the baseball players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal, they offered the whistleblower $125,000 for information related to the case. That is one of many noteworthy tidbits former Biogenesis associate Porter Fischer shared with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

Tony BoschFischer told “Outside the Lines” that he leaked Biogenesis documents to the Miami New Times, which first reported the story, because of a monetary dispute with Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch (pictured). Fischer says he was upset to learn that Bosch was not a real doctor as he claimed to be, and he says he was owed $3,600 from Bosch after investing in the company last year. Bosch paid $1,200 of the $4,800 Fischer was owed and then stopped paying. Fischer got back at Bosch by leaking the documents.

[Previously: Tony Bosch was running BALCO of the East]

Fischer told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn that he took his information to the New Times because he was reluctant to go to the police with the information after seeing the name of local police, attorneys, and a judge in the documents. He said he hoped a federal investigation would be launched after the article’s publication.

Fischer told ESPN that MLB gave him $5,000 and an extra $500, and that they even offered him $125,000 for his information. He says he did not take the money.

Fischer says his life has been turned upside down since the New Times story was published. He says his car was broken into, with records and a computer stolen. He says he has been harassed numerous times.

In addition to the numerous baseball players caught in the Biogenesis scandal, the New Times identified boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and tennis player Wayne Odesnik as athletes in the records. Fischer says he and associates identified NBA players, MMA fighters, boxers, NCAA athletes, and tennis players in the documents. As far as he knows, no NHL or NFL players were Biogenesis clients.

Ryan Braun loses endorsement deal

Ryan BraunMilwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun will forfeit the $3.8 million remaining on his 2013 salary as he serves a suspension for the remainder of the season, and that isn’t the only money he will be losing as a result of his association with performance-enhancing drugs. On Tuesday, Braun lost one of his biggest endorsement deals.

According to ESPN.com, a privately-owned brand of convenience stores named Kwik Trip, which has more than 400 stories in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, has dropped Braun as the face of its company. Braun had been linked to Kwik Trip for four years, headlining the store’s television and radio commercials.

Kwik Trip has also cancelled a promotion where a winning entrant would have won a luncheon with Braun at his Milwaukee restaurant, Graffito. A winner was scheduled to be chosen in a little over a week, and a representative from Kwik Trip told ESPN.com that the company is expecting to be paid back by the sports marketing agency that set the promotion up.

[Related: Matt Kemp sounds off on Ryan Braun suspension]

Some of Braun’s other endorsements include Nike and SURG Restaurant Group, which are evaluating their arrangement with Braun at this point. The president of SAM BAT in Canada, which manufactures Braun’s RB8 bat, said the company will continue to do so.

“We’ve had a good relationship with Ryan and we don’t anticipate that changing at this point,” Arlene Anderson said.

If Tiger Woods survived with Nike, Braun can too. He’ll still make plenty of money with the more than $100 million he has remaining on his Brewers contract, but his pockets may not be as fat as they could have if he wasn’t caught cheating.