According to MLB spokesman Rich Levin, the duration of the suspensions reflects baseball's rules at the times of the violations. The current policy dictates a 50-game suspension for the first positive test for illegal performance-enhancing drugs. The suspensions will take effect at the beginning of the 2008 regular season.
Major League Baseball began enforcing penalties for the use of anabolic steroids at the start of the 2004 season. In 2005, human growth hormone was added to the list of banned substances.
Gibbons, according to a newspaper report, received shipments of HGH and steroids from Signature Pharmacy in Florida between 2003 and 2005. Guillen, meanwhile, was linked with shipments of HGH and steroids from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center in Florida, also from 2003-05. Guillen signed a three-year contract with the Royals on Thursday.
"We signed Jose knowing that was a possibility," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement released by the team. "While my initial reaction is one of disappointment, I am thoroughly convinced that Jose will put this behind him and we collectively support him as he begins a new chapter in his baseball life as a member of the Kansas City Royals."
Andy MacPhail, the Orioles' president of baseball operations, said in a statement: "We completely support the Commissioner's program and his decision with regard to Jay Gibbons' suspension. Jay has acknowledged his mistake, and we appreciate his willingness to accept the consequences."
Four players will not be suspended for their association with HGH, while two investigations remain open. Mets pitcher Scott Schoeneweis, Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus and Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel have been cleared of any potential discipline in the matter after MLB determined there was insufficient evidence of a violation in those four cases.
Reached by phone, Angels spokesman Tim Mead said: "We continue to support Major League Baseball's drug policy and programs and commend the efforts behind it. We addressed the Gary Matthews situation in Spring Training. He handled our request, and we respect the time and effort the Commissioner's Office put forth in its investigation.
"As we did in Spring Training, we move forward."
Glaus and Schoeneweis each reportedly received steroids from Signature Pharmacy in 2003 and 2004, while Ankiel has been reported to have received shipments of HGH from the same outfit in 2004. Matthews was linked with shipments of HGH from Applied Pharmacy Services in Mobile, Ala., in 2004.
Two investigations remain open, with discipline still possible for Rangers outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. and Indians pitcher Paul Byrd. According to the MLB release, the remaining investigations "should be completed shortly."