Suspension puts early end to season for Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz accepted his punishment Monday, stripping the Rangers of their leader in home runs and RBIs for the remainder of the regular season.
Cruz, in the midst of an All-Star year, was the biggest name among the dozen players who accepted 50-game suspensions from Major League Baseball for receiving performance-enhancing drugs from Biogenesis of America, a defunct anti-aging clinic in Miami. It was the largest mass suspension in baseball since February 1986, when 13 players were penalized in fallout from the Pittsburgh cocaine trials.
The star outfielder said in a statement that he made “an error in judgment” in seeking help from Biogenesis to recover strength lost because of a gastrointestinal infection. Cruz said he dropped 40 pounds from November 2011 to January 2012 because of helicobacter pylori, a microaerophilic bacterium that attacks the stomach’s protective mucous lining.
Cruz would be eligible to return to play if the Rangers make the playoffs.
Milwaukee third baseman Ryan Braun previously agreed to a 65-game suspension for receiving PEDs from Biogenesis. New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who made his season debut shortly after the penalties were issued, said he will appeal his suspension, which would run through the 2014 season.
Despite losing their biggest bat, Rangers chief executive officer Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels voiced their support for MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who issued the suspensions.