MLB quizzes players in drug probe

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MLB quizzes players in drug probe

NEW YORK - One by one, for three weeks already, players accompanied by their lawyers have been summoned to interviews as part of baseball’s latest investigation into performance-enhancing drugs - and the process is a long way from finished.

Some pretty big names, led by Alex Rodriguez, could be on the hot seat.

A-Rod, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon are among the 20 or so players who may be disciplined for their links to the now-closed Miami antiaging clinic, Biogenesis of America.

The players’ union says it has been assured no decisions regarding discipline will be made until the interviews are completed.

“It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged those investigations,” union head Michael Weiner said in a statement Wednesday.

And it appears the process has a while to run.

Interviews with players started three weeks ago and are scheduled until the end of June, according to people with knowledge of the process who spoke on condition of anonymity because statements on those details weren’t authorized. Dan Halem, Steven Gonzalez and Patrick Houlihan, lawyers in baseball’s labor relations department, conducted several interviews, and some players haven’t been scheduled.

“Every player has been or will be represented by an attorney from the players’ association,” Weiner said. “The players’ association has every interest in both defending the rights of players and in defending the integrity of our joint [drug] program. We trust that the commissioner’s office shares these interests.”

MLB has been seeking the cooperation of Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch since the Miami New Times reported in January that it obtained what the paper said were records detailing drug purchases by Rodriguez, Cabrera, Cruz and Colon. Yahoo Sports reported that Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, was mentioned in the records.

Among the players linked to the clinic, Cabrera, Colon and San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal already have served 50-game suspensions after positive tests for testosterone announced by MLB last year.

“It looks like it could be getting to the bottom of this and finding some information that hopefully would help Major League Baseball as far as cleaning this game up,” said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who managed Cabrera last year. AP

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