Last December an Al Jazeera documentary linked Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, among other athletes, to performance-enhancing drugs. Although a key source, former pharmacist Charlie Sly, essentially recanted his statements, MLB investigated the claims. They even got the USADA involved.

According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, MLB's investigation into the report and Howard is nearing a conclusion, and he is "unlikely" to be suspended. From Gelb:

It is unlikely that Howard will face discipline from the league. Commissioner Rob Manfred declined to comment on the investigation because he said it is still "ongoing."


"The investigation is ongoing," Dan Halem, MLB's chief legal officer, said Tuesday. "We're close to completing it."

Gelb says Howard met with MLB's investigators earlier this year. Both Howard and Zimmerman has since sued Al Jazeera for defamation.

Howard, now 36, is in the final year of his five-year, $125 million contract. The standard 80-game suspension for first time offenders would end his season -- the Phillies have 72 games remaining -- though it appears he will not be disciplined.

It's "unlikely" Ryan Howard will be disciplined as a result of the Al Jazeera report. USATSI

It's worth noting Taylor Teagarden, another player linked to PEDs in the Al Jazeera report, was suspended 80 games back in April. Teagarden admitted to used banned substances in undercover footage included in the documentary.

It's unknown whether MLB's investigation into Zimmerman is coming to close as well.