Former Biogenesis founder and proprietor Tony Bosch holds the cards in what may become the largest performance-enhancing drugs crackdown in modern sports history.

According to a report from ESPN’s T.J. Quinn, Pedro Gomez and Mike Fish, Major League Baseball is preparing to suspend about 20 players in conjunction with their involvement with Biogenesis.

Among the players expected to face suspensions are New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. Other notable names on the list include Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon. 

The two faces of the investigation, though, are Braun and Rodriguez. Quinn reported on Twitter that MLB officials may seek 100-game suspensions for the two sluggers, a punishment equal to those who test positive for performance-enhancing drugs twice:

The suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and others stem from a Miami New Times report from January detailing the illegal underbelly of Bosch’s now-defunct wellness clinic, Biogenesis. The multi-tiered report from the publication outed Bosch as the mastermind of a performance-enhancing drug monolith that included high-profile clients, most notably MLB stars.

Following the report, MLB started an investigation, the one that essentially falls at Bosch’s feet. The ESPN report indicates that MLB has had the names of Biogenesis clients for more than a month, but it had no hardcore evidence to make it an actionable offense.

Bosch is expected to supply all the ammunition the commissioner’s office needs to take a stand. In agreeing to speak with investigators, Bosch is said to be ready to give sworn affidavits confirming information compiled since the story broke.

Additionally, he will be looked upon to clarify information that was not uncovered by investigators, while also going into intimate detail about the services his company provided to these players.

ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish reported in early February that Bosch had injected Rodriguez with performance-enhancing drugs personally. The Yankees third baseman has denied all involvement with Biogenesis and Bosch.

It’s unclear whether Bosch will admit to injecting Rodriguez or what will come of that story. In fact, most of what will happen in the coming weeks remains up to the whims of Bosch. 

Since investigators haven’t met with Bosch yet, it’s possible that this story never materializes past this phase.

Bosch may either pull out of the meeting or fail to supply MLB with information that emboldens the league to make such high-profile moves. Human beings are fickle that way. And with Bosch undoubtedly facing some pretty hefty scorn from those connected with his clinic after the ESPN report, this story is far from a done deal.

But there is reason for him to be forthright. MLB has agreed to drop its lawsuit against the Biogenesis founder, filed in March, for his cooperation. 

Should the plan go as reported, MLB officials would be taking a step completely unparalleled in history. Players implicated in the New Times report and MLB’s investigation have not tested positive under MLB’s drug-testing policy.

Suspending those players in and of itself would represent a major action unforeseen in the sport’s history—especially on such a wide scale.

However, there is precedent in MLB’s collective bargaining agreement for suspensions for players who have not tested positive. As noted by Andy Dolich of CSN Bay Area, suspensions for “conviction for use of prohibited substances” are 15-to-30 game bans, with the discretion being at the commissioner’s office.

Suspending Braun, Rodriguez and others as if they were multi-time violators of the sport’s rule against testing policy, though, is a move that would make this scandal historic. Fifteen-game suspensions would send a message and likely work as somewhat of a deterrent, but 100-game bans would be an atom bomb. 

The Major League Baseball Players Association would undoubtedly appeal those suspensions, almost before they even hit the wire. An intense litigation process would follow, pitting the United States’ most powerful players’ union (MLBPA) against its ownership group and commissioners office. 

At the center of it is one man, Tony Bosch. The information he has can provide investigators with—and that’s assuming that he actually has incriminating information—could change the whole landscape of MLB, not just now but going forward.

Braun’s last-place Brewers would lose their best player almost certainly for the remainder of this season and possibly some of next, depending on how everything plays out. The Yankees, though their checkbooks would be cleaned a bit from Rodriguez’s exorbitant salary from a suspension, would again take another black eye in what’s been a career full of them for A-Rod in New York.

Earlier this week, before the report came out, Hal Steinbrenner said the club has been “disappointed” in Rodriguez, per USA Today.

Now? After this scandal? The Yankees might have to think long and hard about simply buying out the remainder of Rodriguez’s contract to avoid further distractions. 

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. For now, all we know is what might happen when Bosch sits down with investigators. We think we know what will happen and who will be implicated, and ESPN’s reporters have done award-worthy work during this entire scandal.

First, Bosch has to get into a room with investigators. He has to comb over every last nickel, every last chemical injected into these players’ bodies under his supervision. There has to be transparency, complete honesty and—most importantly—proof that these players committed sins against the game.

Even in the crazy world of performance-enhancing drugs, there’s a concept called “innocent until proven guilty.” MLB cannot prove guilt without verification from Bosch. Bud Selig must work to instill confidence in fans’ eyes that what they are seeing is clean baseball without first sending a message that this won’t be tolerated.

These meetings are, frankly, MLB history. The investigation is a multi-month puzzle put together, likely at high expense, to help eradicate performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. What Bosch has to say in those meetings will ultimately determine whether history is being made or if the investigation was all for naught.  


Follow Tyler Conway on Twitter:

Read more MLB news on