x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Doping problems continue to be an issue for the MLB

No suspensions have come from the investigation, yet, but the shadowy, incomplete details still hang like a dark cloud.

Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies is serving a 25-game ban for taking steroids.
Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies is serving a 25-game ban for taking steroids.

Baseball's so-called Steroids Era may be over, but reminders linger that the problem of performance enhancing drugs in the sport may never completely disappear.

Two teams in the MLB began the season without their starting catchers: Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies and Yasmani Grandal of the San Diego Padres are serving 25- and 50-game suspensions, respectively.

Meanwhile, an ongoing investigation of a medical clinic in Florida, which reportedly supplied baseball players with banned substances, has tainted, by alleged association, even bigger stars, such as the 2012 National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and the injured Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.

No suspensions have come from the investigation, yet, but the shadowy, incomplete details still hang like a dark cloud.

When Melky Cabrera of the Toronto Blue Jays and Bartolo Colon of the Oakland Athletics appeared on the field for the first time last week, it stirred thoughts of their 2012 suspensions for failing drug tests.

Less publicised, but just as troubling, some three dozen minor leaguers are currently under suspension.

The drug testing of the past decade, and a much less tolerant clubhouse culture, would seem to have cut PED use significantly.

But no one will be completely surprised, either, the first time this season the commissioner's office has an announcement to make.

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