Travis Tygart, chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that last year unveiled a lengthy "reasoned decision" that led to the stripping of cyclist Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles, said baseball's anti-doping efforts were not lessened by the fact that none of the 13 players suspended Monday -- including Alex Rodriguez -- submitted an actual positive drug test.
"Even without a positive test today, let's not forget that three of the athletes associated with Biogenesis [Oakland's Bartolo Colon, San Diego's Yasmani Grandal and former San Francisco Giant/current Toronto Blue Jay Melky Cabrera] did test positive previously," Tygart told the Los Angeles Times. "Not all of the testimony is out for these others yet, but you're obviously concerned they were using substances to mask use.
"Athletes with resources will attempt to circumvent the drug-testing process, which is why it's important to hold them accountable when they cheat with these measures."
MLB has separated itself from the other major U.S. sports by supplementing testing with investigators who can call upon cooperation with law enforcement to pursue leads like those that emerged in the Biogenesis reporting that began in late January.
Through that work, investigators secured key documents and ultimately won the cooperation of Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch.
As for Rodriguez, who after his suspension through the 2014 season was announced Monday declined to answer if he had used performance-enhancing drugs, Tygart said, "A-Rod would be smart to accept the violation like the other players have done. He can argue about the length of the sanction, but don't keep up the charade that he didn't possess or use performance-enhancing drugs. That unnecessarily compromises the 1,100 other athletes in Major League Baseball. He should admit the truth, think of his teammates for once.
"Stop the circus and accept the responsibility."