Washington Nationals’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez was among several big-name major leaguers to appear in an explosive story from the Miami New Times Tuesday morning linking the players to an anti-aging clinic in Miami believed to sell performance-enhancing drugs.
According to the report, a detailed account based on records obtained from the clinic and interviews with customers and former employees, the clinic was called Biogensis and located near the University of Miami. Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Yasmani Grandal are also linked to the drug supplier. Rodriguez, Cabrera, Colon and Grandal have all either admitted to or been suspended previously for PED use.
UPDATE: In a statement issued through his representatives, Gonzalez said: “I’ve never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind, and I never will. I’ve never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substances provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie.”
It is unclear at this point how involved the Nationals’ starter was with the clinic. Gonzalez was unable to be immediately reached for comment and the Miami New Times’ report doesn’t address him with nearly as much detail as it does players like Rodriguez and Cabrera, though noting his name appeared five times in what was believed to be the owner’s ledger.
Here is a small excerpt from the article’s lengthy passage on Rodriguez:
Born and raised in Miami and starring on the diamond since he was 18 years old, A-Rod admitted in 2009 that he had used steroids… Ever since then, A-Rod claimed, he’d been playing clean. He’d never failed an MLB drug test since penalties were put into place.
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 (Biogenesis owner Anthony) 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.
Gonzalez is not mentioned, outside of his name, until close to the end of the story. His father, Max, is quoted.
There’s also the curious case of Gio Gonzalez, the 27-year-old, Hialeah-native, left-handed hurler who won 21 games last year for the Washington Nationals. Gonzalez’s name appears five times in Bosch’s notebooks, including a specific note in the 2012 book reading, “Order 1.c.1 with Zinc/MIC/… and Aminorip. For Gio and charge $1,000.” (Aminorip is a muscle-building protein.)
Gonzalez’s father, Max, also appears on Bosch’s client lists and is often listed in conjunction with the pitcher. But reached by phone, the Hialeah resident insists his son has had no contact with Bosch.
“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?”
It’s unclear if any of the substances Gonzalez is said to have obtained are among those banned by major league baseball. No failed tests by Gonzalez have been announced or made public and he has not been suspended by the league to date.
On the surface, it appears that neither Aminorip nor MIC (believed to be short for Methionine, Inositol, Choline), two of the substances written with Gonzalez’s name in the ledger, contain substances banned by MLB or the World Anti-Doping Agency.
You can read the entire Miami New Times report here, as well as in the links above.
Major League Baseball has also issued a statement in response to the Miami New Times’ report.
“We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances. These developments, however, provide evidence of the comprehensive nature of our anti-drug efforts. Through our Department of Investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in South Florida. It is also important to note that three of the players allegedly involved have already been disciplined under the Joint Drug Program…
“Vigilance remains the key toward protecting the integrity of our game. We have the best and most stringent drug testing policy in professional sports, we continue to work with our doctors and trainers to learn what they are seeing day-to-day and we educate our players about the game’s unbending zero-tolerance approach. We remain fully committed to following all leads and seeking the appropriate outcomes for all those who use, purchase and are involved in the distribution of banned substances, which have no place in our game.
“We are in the midst of an active investigation and are gathering and reviewing information. We will refrain from further comment until this process is complete.”
More information on this as it is available.