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MLB nears deal with informant for doping details

Major League Baseball has been informed by Tony Bosch, head of the South Florida wellness clinic, that he will testify about his relationship with performance-enhancing drugs and dozens of baseball players, a move that could lead to suspensions for Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other notable major leaguers, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because negotiations with Bosch are ongoing. ESPN first reported an agreement with Bosch and MLB.

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The agreement would be a significant boon in baseball’s efforts to corroborate reports, initially from the Miami New TImes, that Rodriguez, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and more than 20 other players received banned substances from Biogenesis, a since-shuttered wellness clinic.

Cabrera, when approached by USA TODAY Sports before the Blue Jays played his old team, the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night, said he had no knowledge of a possible suspension. Cabrera served a 50-game suspension last season when he tested positive for testosterone, missing the Giants’ run to the World Series title.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Cabrera said in Spanish. “This is the first I hear of it. If they suspend me again, I think that would be a harsh punishment because I already served my sentence. But it’s up to them.

“I believe I’ve already served my sentence, especially missing the playoffs. That’s what hurt me the most, getting suspended and not being able to play in the playoffs.”

Braun smiled as he spoke to reporters after the Milwaukee Brewers’ walkoff win over the Oakland Athletics, saying the threat of suspension was not on his mind.

“The truth has not changed,” he said, according to MLB.com. “I don’t know the specifics of the story that came out today, but I’ve already addressed it, I’ve already commented on it, and I’ll say nothing further about it.”

Bosch, according to ESPN, will meet with MLB investigators within a week. MLB had filed suit against Bosch in March, but ESPN reported MLB will drop that suit in exchange for Bosch’s cooperation.

MLB Players’ Association executive director Michael Weiner told USA TODAY Sports Rodriguez and Braun were not suspended and declined further comment.

Rodriguez, who admitted using performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003, has denied any links to Biogenesis; documents obtained by New Times indicate he may have received PEDs from the clinic in 2009 and 2012.

The three-time AL Most Valuable Player is not expected back from hip surgery until next month. On Opening Day, in regard to the MLB investigation of Biogenesis, he told reporters that “At some point, I feel that everything will be good.”

The list of players linked in published reports to Biogenesis is extensive, and includes stars, bit players and others, like Cabrera, previously linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

Most notable: Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz and former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, who like Cabrera was suspended for 50 games in August 2012 for a positive testosterone test. So, too, was Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, who returned one week ago from a similar suspension.

Other notable players linked include Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Mariners minor league catcher Jesus Montero, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera.

Contributing: Jorge L. Ortiz in San Francisco

PHOTOS: PROMINENT PLAYERS LINKED TO MIAMI CLINIC

pMLB players linked in report to the anti-aging Miami clinic that distributed performance enhancing drugs: New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted he took steroids in 2009, but has insisted he stopped taking them in 2003./pFormer San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who was named the All-Star Game MVP in July, was suspended 50-games last year for a positive drug test.Washington Nationals' Gio Gonzalez had a breakout year last season andnbsp;nbsp;finished third in the NL Cy Young award.Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, who hit six home runs during the 2011 AL Championship Series, has never failed an MLB-administered drug test.Bartolo Colon, who had a renaissance season last year, was suspended 50 games after testing positive for high levels of testosterone in August.San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, left, was one of seven major leaguers suspended last season for testing positive for steroids.Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was one of the players linked to the Miami clinic.Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, who led the NL with 44 stolen bases in 2012, was added to the list of players linked to the clinic.

  • pMLB players linked in report to the anti-aging Miami clinic that distributed performance enhancing drugs: New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted he took steroids in 2009, but has insisted he stopped taking them in 2003./p
  • Former San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who was named the All-Star Game MVP in July, was suspended 50-games last year for a positive drug test.
  • Washington Nationals' Gio Gonzalez had a breakout year last season andnbsp;nbsp;finished third in the NL Cy Young award.
  • Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, who hit six home runs during the 2011 AL Championship Series, has never failed an MLB-administered drug test.
  • Bartolo Colon, who had a renaissance season last year, was suspended 50 games after testing positive for high levels of testosterone in August.
  • San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, left, was one of seven major leaguers suspended last season for testing positive for steroids.
  • Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was one of the players linked to the Miami clinic.
  • Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, who led the NL with 44 stolen bases in 2012, was added to the list of players linked to the clinic.

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