Major League Baseball is “prepared” to hand down a lifetime ban to New York Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez, one of the sport’s biggest stars, USA Today reports.
Though an official announcement will not be made until Thursday or Friday, at least eight other unnamed players will also receive suspensions.
The news of a ban for A-Rod comes six months to the day after the Miami New Times first reported Rodriguez’s connection to a Miami, Fla. “anti-aging clinic” called BioGenesis that actually sold performance-enhancing drugs to athletes in multiple sports.
Rodriguez’s name appears multiple times on the company’s records, but the star continues to deny the allegations, and may have tried to obstruct the MLB’s investigation as well.
It is believed by baseball, at least, that he actively obstructed this investigation,” said ESPN’s T.J. Quinn told CBS. “They have looked into charges that he tampered with witnesses, that he tried to get documents, possibly have them destroyed.”
David Cornwell, Rodriguez’s attorney, has said that Rodriguez would appeal whatever suspension was handed down.
Previous to the New Times revelations, Rodriguez had admitted to doping as a Texas Ranger from 2001 to 2003 under what he called “enormous pressure” to perform, at the end of an era of widespread use of PED’s that saw the likes of Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds achieving eye-popping stats that were later revealed to be the result of cheating.
Despite admitting to steroid use, Rodriguez has never tested positive for PED’s, though corrupt officials tipping off players to upcoming tests is likely to blame for this contradiction.
Rodriguez, 38, has spent the 2013 season on the sideline so far, recovering from hip surgery performed in January. Over his nineteen season in the league he has hit 647 homeruns, placing him fifth on the all-time list.
If a lifetime ban is given, Rodriguez would join Pete Rose, who admitted to betting on games as a player and manager in 1989, as the only living players to be banned from baseball for life.
Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun, the second biggest star implicated in the scandal, has already received a sixty-five game suspension.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Ryan Braun plays for the Washington Nationals.