- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

MIAMI (AP) - Former University of Miami pitching coach Lazaro “Laser” Collazo will plead guilty to lesser charges in the baseball steroid investigation involving a South Florida anti-aging clinic, Collazo’s attorney said Friday.

Federal prosecutors Friday dropped the more serious steroid distribution counts against him in favor of two simple testosterone possession charges, each punishable by a year in prison. Some of the previous charges carried potential 10-year prison terms.

Defense attorney Frank Quintero confirmed in a written statement that Collazo, 51, will plead guilty to the misdemeanor charges after reaching what he called a “compromise and resolution of the case against him.” A plea hearing is set for March 16 before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga.

Collazo was among eight people indicted last summer in the steroids scandal involving the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic operated by Anthony Bosch. Once Collazo pleads guilty, only Yuri Sucart - cousin of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez - would still await trial on April 6. Bosch himself was sentenced to four years in prison.

Fourteen ballplayers linked to Bosch’s clinic were suspended last year, including Rodriguez for the entire season. Rodriguez, 39, is now back with the Yankees at spring training in the Tampa area, working as a designated hitter.

Quintero said he and prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of one year probation for Collazo, although that is not binding on the judge.

Evidence in the case showed Collazo had no involvement with any professional baseball players but only referred local athletes to Bosch, who was not a doctor but posed as one.

“Throughout this case, the parties maintained open lines of communication and all discussions were open to agreement or disagreement as to the evidence with both sides constantly reviewing and re-evaluating that evidence as it was obtained,” Quintero added.

The Miami U.S. attorney’s office had no immediate comment.

Collazo was pitching coach at perennial college baseball power Miami for 18 years, coaching for three national championship teams. Collazo has also coached at the University of South Florida and University of Louisville.

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Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt

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