ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) — Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz will accept a 50-game ban by Major League Baseball in connection with the Biogenesis investigation.
Cruz has declined to appeal the suspension and will begin serving the ban tonight when the Rangers face the Los Angeles Angels. Cruz will be eligible to return for the first game of the playoffs — if the Rangers qualify. He is set to be a free agent at the end of the season.
The two-time All-Star explained his actions in a written statement on Monday, attributing his decision to a medical problem he suffered from in 2011. Cruz says from November 2011 to January 2012, he was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which caused him to lose 40 pounds.
“Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers’ fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs.”
The Texas Rangers released the following statement on Monday in response to the suspension.
“The Texas Rangers are disappointed that Nelson Cruz has violated the terms of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program resulting in his suspension. The Rangers’ organization fully supports the MLB program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the Rangers will have no further comment.”
His name surfaced in January in connection with the Biogenesis of America clinic, an anti-aging clinic in Miami that allegedly supplied players with performance-enhancing substances.
Since that time, Biogenesis clinic founder Tony Bosch has cooperated with MLB officials during its investigation.
Cruz, Alex Rodriguez, and Ryan Braun — who already accepted and is serving a 65-game ban — are among a group of as many as 20 players alleged to have been clients.