- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Gio Gonzalez reiterates PED denials on arrival at Nationals camp
Question of the Day
VIERA, Fla. — Gio Gonzalez arrived at the Washington Nationals’ spring training complex on Tuesday morning as his usual affable self.
He bounced around the clubhouse passing out copies of Athletes Quarterly magazine with his face on the cover, making him an easy target for teammates more than happy to leave the glamour shots from inside the publication strewn about.
He signed autographs for a group of fans and played catch with bullpen coach Nilson Robledo. He smiled and laughed and hugged anyone in sight.
Then he issued another firm denial of any use of performance-enhancing drugs or involvement with the Biogenesis clinic thought to be distributing banned substances.
Gonzalez, whose name surfaced in a report by the Miami New Times, said he has cooperated with Major League Baseball’s investigation into the matter and felt “very confident” that he will be cleared when the investigation is complete.
“At the end of the day, I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs and I never will,” Gonzalez said during a 15-minute session with the media in the Nationals‘ dugout. “I’m actually pretty excited about this year.”
Looking thinner than the 200-pounds he was listed at on the Nationals‘ 2012 roster, Gonzalez said he was “shocked” and “stunned” when he heard his name was found in Biogenesis records, along with those of Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Yasmani Grandal. The names of Ryan Braun, Francisco Cervelli and Jhonny Peralta have since been reported as being in owner Anthony Bosch’s notes as well.
Gonzalez maintained that he has never had any connection to Bosch or the clinic, as he said in his initial statement denying his involvement. He had no idea how his name came to be listed or why it was found in the records. The only link, he said, was that his father had been a patient of Bosch’s in an effort to lose weight — a fact he said he did not know until the report came out.
“There’s no connections other than the fact that my father already admitted he was a patient there, a legitimate patient,” Gonzalez said. “After that, you know how my father is. All of South Florida, all of baseball knows that my father is the most proud father in baseball. He says ‘Hi,’ tells everyone about his son.
“That’s the best I can say. Other than that, I have no clue why my name was on that list or in that notebook.”
Major League Baseball did not give Gonzalez a timetable for when it may wrap up its investigation and until then the possibility for Gonzalez to face a 50-game suspension still exists. Gonzalez’s name appeared five times in Bosch’s records including once on the same page as something called “pink cream,” which is believed to be a synthetic testosterone. Gonzalez said he had no knowledge of what that product was and had never used it.
“No,” he said. “Not at all.”
He was adamant about not allowing the issue to become a distraction for him or his teammates, who received him warmly on Tuesday. He stressed that spring training is “about the organization, about the team, together.” Gonzalez will leave to participate in the World Baseball Classic during the first weekend in March, accepting an earlier invitation this past weekend and viewing it as a positive sign Team USA had received him given the existing turmoil.
“If you get a call from [USA manager] Joe Torre you know that something’s going good and you feel confident that he believes in you,” Gonzalez said. “Everyone has their doubts, everyone has their beliefs, but at the end of the day, I’m still playing. I’m still staying positive.”
While the questions about his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic were limited to the first six minutes of his interview, as Gonzalez’s session was wrapping up he was asked if he was going into the season feeling as if he had something to prove. At that suggestion, Gonzalez was frank.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Russia violating 1987 nuclear missile treaty
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq