* Rodriguez suspended for 211 games
* A dozen other players handed lesser suspensions
Alex Rodriguez, baseball's highest-paid player and one of the sport's greatest hitters, was suspended for a record 211 games on Monday for alleged doping offences.
Another 12 players, including three All-Stars, were handed 50-game suspensions by Major League Baseball following a long investigation into links between top players and a Florida clinic accused of supplying performance enhancing drugs.
MLB released a statement identifying the following players that had been given the lesser bans: Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Philadelphia Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, New York Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, New York Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello, San Diego Padres pitching prospect Fautino De Los Santos, Houston Astros pitching prospect Sergio Escalona and New York Yankees outfield prospect Fernando Martinez.
They were all treated as first-time offenders and will serve their penalties - about eight weeks in MLB - in time to rejoin their teams for the postseason playoffs.
Rodriguez was banned until the end of the 2014 season - the longest doping penalty ever handed by MLB - because he had committed other offences, MLB commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
"Rodriguez's discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's ," Selig said.
"The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8th, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play."
Rodriguez had previously indicated he would appeal to an arbitrator, allowing him to play until the case was resolved.
He was listed to play for the New York Yankees in Chicago on Monday against the White Sox.
Although Rodriguez has never been punished for doping, he has previously admitted to doping, but said he stopped using steroids about a decade ago.
The 38-year-old is currently fifth on the all-time home runs list with 647 home runs but the ban threatens to ruin his prospects of overtaking Barry Bonds (762) as the all-time leader.