NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Two all-time Yankees say they’ll back up Alex Rodriguez if he’s suspended in the wake of Major League Baseball’s investigation into Biogenesis and performance-enhancing drugs.
Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun accepted a 65-day ban on Monday for his ties to Biogenesis, the closed clinic in Florida accused of distributing PEDs. A-Rod, New York catcher Francisco Cervelli and others have also been linked to the clinic and its operator, Anthony Bosch.
“I don’t know what happened with Alex. He’s my teammate, and I have to support him 100 percent,” Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said Monday. “We need to see where this goes. The good thing about this is we’re cleaning the game. That’s the way it should be. I think this is a message for whoever tries to do this again, that it’s going to be caught. It’s going to be caught.”
“I mean, I have to support him,” he added. “He’s my teammate. He’s my brother. Definitely, I (can’t) say if he did or didn’t do it. If it happens, I can’t throw him in the street, you know? He’s still my brother.”
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte knows what it’s like to be wrapped up in a PED scandal. After being named in baseball’s Mitchell report, Pettitte admitted in 2007 to using human growth hormone to recover from an elbow injury years earlier.
“We’re going to back him up,” Pettitte said of Rodriguez. “We’re his teammates, there’s no doubt. But if he did something wrong, you have to be punished for it. But I’ll still back him up. I’m still going to love him because I built a relationship with him. He’s a teammate of mine. You just wish nothing but the best for him.”
A-Rod has admitted to using PEDs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. The injured 37-year-old, who has denied using them since, told WFAN radio last week that he hasn’t instructed anyone to make a deal with the league “at this point” regarding a Biogenesis-related suspension.
Braun acknowledged to making “some mistakes” in a statement Monday. It was a stunning about-face from his steadfast denials despite rampant PED rumors and an overturned suspension following a failed test in 2011.
“It’s not rocket science,” said Rivera. “If you did something and you admitted it, who am I to say something different, you know what I mean? I just want to make sure that the game is played clean and should be the way it is.”
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