The Miami New Times may have uncovered the East Coast version of BALCO—the California lab that supplied performance-enhancing drugs to several high-profile athletes, including some of the biggest names in baseball.
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera and Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon are among a group of players that have been linked to Biogenesis, a Miami-based clinic that reportedly sold performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez is planning to issue a statement on the situation, which Joel Sherman of the New York Post was able to see and post (via Hardball Talk), denying that he had any sort of relationship or involvement with Bosch.
The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.
"This matter is now in the hands of the Commissioner’s Office." #Yankees have no comment until A-Rod investigation has concluded.— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) January 29, 2013
The clinic, reportedly run by entrepreneur Anthony Bosch, closed in December. Bosch is said to have disappeared shortly thereafter. The report notes that Bosch has an extensive history with steroids.
The son of a prominent Coral Gables physician named Pedro Publio Bosch, he was connected with banned substances when slugger Manny Ramirez was suspended for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy in 2009. At the time, MLB confirmed the Drug Enforcement Administration was probing the father and son for allegedly providing Ramirez with HCG, a compound often used at the tail end of steroid cycles.
Bosch was never charged with any crime, and the New Times says that its attempts to reach the athletes named in the article were declined.
We already knew that Rodriguez had a history with performance-enhancing drugs. He admitted as much in an interview with Peter Gammons prior to the start of the 2009 season.
During his admission, though, A-Rod claimed that he has not used PEDs since the 2003 season. The New Times report contradicts this claim:
Yet there was his name, over and over again, logged as either "Alex Rodriguez," "Alex Rod," or his nickname at the clinic, "Cacique," a pre-Columbian Caribbean chief. Rodriguez's name appears 16 times throughout the records New Times reviewed.
Take, for instance, one patient list from Bosch's 2009 personal notebook. It charts more than 50 clients and notes whether they received their drugs by delivery or in the office, how much they paid, and what they were taking.
There, at number seven on the list, is Alex Rodriguez. He paid $3,500, Bosch notes. Below that, he writes, "1.5/1.5 HGH (sports perf.) creams test., glut., MIC, supplement, sports perf. Diet." HGH, of course, is banned in baseball, as are testosterone creams.
And a few paragraphs later:
The mentions of Rodriguez begin in 2009 and continue all the way through last season. Take a page in another notebook, which is labeled "2012" and looks to have been written last spring. Under the heading "A-Rod/Cacique," Bosch writes, "He is paid through April 30th. He will owe May 1 $4,000... I need to see him between April 13-19, deliver troches, pink cream, and... May meds. Has three weeks of Sub-Q (as of April)."
Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games last August when he tested positive for testosterone, missing out on the San Francisco Giants' run to the World Series.
San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, who is also named in the report, is suspended for the first 50 games of the 2013 season after testing positive for testosterone.
The Nats' Gonzalez has never tested positive for PEDs. His father, Max, told the New Times he was the one that got in touch with Bosch in an effort to lose weight.
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
"My son works very, very hard, and he's as clean as apple pie," the elder Gonzalez says. "I went to Tony because I needed to lose weight. A friend recommended him, and he did great work for me. But that's it. He never met my son. Never. And if I knew he was doing these things with steroids, do you think I'd be dumb enough to go there?"
Gonzalez has also released a statement on his own behalf denying any involvement with Bosch.
I've never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will ,I've never met or spoken with tony Bosch orused any substance— Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) January 29, 2013
According to Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com, the league is currently investigating Bosch and Biogenesis, but whether MLB takes action regarding the specific players implicated in the report remains to be seen.
A league official reportedly told Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports that some of the players involved could face a 50-game suspension despite never having tested positive for PEDs, which does have some precedence. Back in 2006, MLB suspended pitcher Jason Grimsley for 50 games after federal investigators discovered he was having packages of HGH, steroids and amphetamines sent to his home.
Whether these players are ultimately found to be guilty or innocent, there is no denying the magnitude of this report. Expect Bosch and Biogenesis to remain in the news leading up to the 2013 MLB season.