OAKLAND -- Although A's starting pitcher Bartolo Colon was one of the names to surface Tuesday in the Miami New Times' expose of a performance-enhancing drugs ring in South Florida, it seems unlikely that his scheduled April return to the A's will be delayed.
Colon will miss the first week or so of the season as he finishes out the 50-game suspension he was slapped with last year by Major League Baseball. Colon was suspended after having tested positive for a synthetic testosterone.
According to the Miami New Times' story -- it cen be found on the web at http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-01-31/news/a-rod-and-doping-a-miami-clinic-supplies-drugs-to-sports-biggest-names/ -- the notebooks of Tony Bosch said Colon was being billed $3,000 per month as of last June by Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Miami. The story said Bosch was the chief executive of Biogenesis and that the clinic's real business was to sell performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.
Others named include Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, former Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, former A's pitcher Gio Gonzalez and Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz. Cabrera, like Colon, was slapped with a suspension last year.
Biogenesis was described by the paper as the "East Coast version of BALCO," the Bay Area lab that was alleged to have provided Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and others with steroids.
At the A's FanFest Sunday, Oakland manager
An A's source said that the paper contacted the club about what it was planning to write, and the A's forwarded the information to the Commissioner's Office.
History suggests that the A's and the other clubs who had players named in the report will not act on this information. Instead they will wait for Major League Baseball to react to the story, and that is expected to take a long time.
The evidence has to be obtained, examined and authenticated. Each of those steps can be a lengthy process. In the case of Colon, the timing of the alleged billing by Biogenesis suggests that those were the purchases that led to the drug test he failed last year, meaning the report could be the background for the suspension he already is serving.
Major League Baseball did release a statement about the report Tuesday and said it was in the "midst of an active investigation." But the statement did little to directly address the issues raised by the Miami New Times and instead talked up baseball's "best and most stringent drug testing policy in sports."
Clearly, however, the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Major League players hasn't gone away.
Here's part of what the MLB statement read:
"We have the best and most stringent drug testing policy in professional sports, we continue to work with our doctors and trainers to learn what they are seeing day-to-day and we educate our players about the game's unbending zero-tolerance approach.
"We remain fully committed to following all leads and seeking the appropriate outcomes for all those who use, purchase and are involved in the distribution of banned substances, which have no place in our game. We are in the midst of an active investigation and are gathering and reviewing information. We will refrain from further comment until this process is complete.''