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Yankees' Alex Rodriguez gets 211-game ban, 12 others get 50-game ban in MLB drug scandal

NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case — the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago.

Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension last month and previous penalties bring to 18 the total number of players sanctioned for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs.

The harshest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger, a three-time Most Valuable Player and baseball's highest-paid star. He said he will appeal his suspension, which covers 211 games, by Thursday's deadline. And since arbitrator Fredric Horowitz isn't expected to rule until November or December at the earliest, Rodriguez was free to make his season debut Monday night and play the rest of this season.

The other 12 players agreed to their 50-game penalties before they were announced, giving them a chance to return for the playoffs.

MLB said A-Rod's drug penalty was for "his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years."


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