The Major League Baseball Players Association is negotiating with MLB officials on a possible 10- to 15-day suspension for outfielder Jose Guillen for his reported involvement in the purchase of steroids and human growth hormone, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Wednesday.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported last month that Guillen bought nearly $20,000 worth of steroids and human growth hormone from 2003 through 2005.
Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president for labor relations, issued the following statement: "I interviewed Mr. Guillen. I've had an ongoing dialogue with the Major League Baseball Players Association regarding the relevant facts and circumstances. We do not, however, negotiate discipline. The commissioner will determine what discipline, if any, is appropriate when I conclude my investigation."
Major League Baseball began testing for steroids in 2003, and penalties for first offenses began in 2005. HGH was banned by MLB in January 2005.
"We told the commissioner's office my version of this whole affair, which in some ways has been handled with some errors in the media," Guillen was quoted as saying Tuesday by ESPNdeportes.com when asked about the situation.
Guillen and the Royals finalized an agreement on a $36 million, three-year contract on Thursday. The 31-year-outfielder batted .290 with 23 homers and 99 RBIs for the Seattle Mariners this year. Seattle declined its $9 million option and Guillen turned down a $5 million player option, receiving a $500,000 buyout.
Citing business records, the Chronicle reported Guillen bought more than $19,000 worth of drugs from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center between May 2002 and June 2005. He played for five teams during that span: the Diamondbacks, Reds, Athletics, Angels and Nationals.
According to the report, some prescriptions for Guillen were written by the same Florida dentist whose license was suspended in 2003 for fraud and incompetence. The dentist also reportedly prescribed HGH to Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Byrd.
Guillen had some of the shipments sent to the Oakland Coliseum during the 2003 season, after he was traded to the A's, according to the report. The anti-aging clinic was raided in February as part of an investigation by the Albany County, N.Y., district attorney.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.