In an interesting twist to the news yesterday regarding a possible suspension for Jose Guillen comes breaking news from the Commissioner's Office that not only will Guillen be suspended, but Jay Gibbons of the Orioles, as well. To add further intrigue, other players that had been identified in an Albany, NY investigation into a Florida-based pharmacy that sold performance-enhancing drugs through the internet, are now off the hook. The following was just received by way of the Commissioner's Office:
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that Jay Gibbons of the Baltimore Orioles and Jose Guillen of the Kansas City Royals each have received 15-day suspensions for violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Both suspensions will be effective at the start of the 2008 regular season.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball also announced that it had concluded its investigations of Scott Schoeneweis, Gary Matthews, Jr., Troy Glaus and Rick Ankiel and had determined that, with respect to each player, there was insufficient evidence of a violation of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in effect at the time of the conduct in question. Other open investigations should be completed
Royals' Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, Dayton Moore, issued the following statement on the announcement that Jose Guillen has received a 15-day suspension by Commissioner Bud Selig.
"We signed Jose knowing that was a possibility," said Moore. "While my initial reaction is one of disappointment, I am thoroughly convinced that Jose will put this behind him and we collectively support him as he begins a new chapter in his baseball life as a member of the Kansas City Royals. As I've stated on numerous occasions, we went into this winter seeking an impact bat in the middle of our lineup and I know we've acquired such a bat in Jose Guillen."
Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail issued the following statement regarding Jay Gibbons’ suspension:
“We completely support the Commissioner’s program and his decision with regard to Jay Gibbons’ suspension. Jay has acknowledged his mistake, and we appreciate his willingness to accept the consequences.”
Given the 15-day suspension, it would seem that negotiations regarding both Guillen and Gibbons took place.
(NOTE: The prior version of the Joint Drug Agreement (JDA) had 15-games as the suspension for a second-time violation of the JDA. The timeline for when Guillen and Gibbons may have received shipments of PEDs might be during the prior JDA. This is speculation at this point).
There are no provisions within the current drug policy for such time limits.
ESPN is reporting that Guillen’s ”lawyers will appeal the sanction, but he will not comment further on the case. Guillen instructed the players' association to file a grievance, which would be decided by an arbitrator.”
Gibbons will not file a challenge the suspension, and instead, offered an apology.
"I am deeply sorry for the mistakes that I have made. I have no excuses and bare sole responsibility for my decisions," the Baltimore outfielder said. "Years ago, I relied on the advice of a doctor, filled a prescription, charged the HGH, which is a medication, to my credit card and had only intended to help speed my recovery from my injuries and surgeries."
More details as they are made available.
(See historical Drug Violation information for MLB on The Biz of Baseball)
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.
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