The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday praised Major League Baseball for its suspension of three-time American League most valuable player Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees through the 2014 season.
WADA Director General David Howman said in a prepared statement that his agency "commends" the disciplining of 13 players associated with the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Florida.
Even if these players did not submit positive drug tests like other Biogenesis-connected players, Howman said it was important to note how baseball investigated and disciplined the players Monday.
"As we have said previously, nonanalytical methods are proving to be an increasingly effective means of helping uncover those athletes who have committed foul play and breached anti-doping rules," Howman said in the statement. "The MLB has approached the matter in a professional manner throughout, and we look forward to maintaining our close relationship as we move forward in our efforts to protect clean athletes and advocate doping-free sport."
Rodriguez, however, said he will appeal the suspension. He played in the Yankees' game Monday.
Howman spoke in 2011 in New York at a Partnership for Clean Competition meeting -- attended by MLB investigators -- urging testers in U.S. professional sports to expand testing for substances such as erythropoietin and human growth hormone and employ the nonanalytical work necessary to root out cheaters.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, in its opinion on Lance Armstrong, gathered similar documents and witness statements that led to the stripping of Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles.
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