Nationals left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez is one of dozens of professional athletes linked to a Miami-area anti-aging clinic that allegedly sold performance-enhancing drugs, according to a report in the Miami New Times.
Gonzalez, 27, has never failed a drug test or been suspended by Major League Baseball. In his first season with Washington in 2012 he was 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA and finished third in the National League Cy Young Award voting. The Nats acquired him in a trade with the Oakland A’s after the 2011 season.
According to the New Times, Gonzalez, a Hialeah, Fla. native, has his name appear in a ledger provided to the publication detailing customers of Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla.
Biogenesis was run by Anthony Bosch, 49, the son of a prominent Coral Gables physician. Bosch was previously linked to the suspension of former baseball star Manny Ramirez, who was suspended in 2009 for violating MLB’s drug policy. Ramirez later tested positive again in 2011 and retired from the sport rather than serve an expected 100-game suspension.
Via his verified Twitter account, Gonzalez denied using performance-enhancing drugs or ever meeting with Bosch.
“I’ve never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will ,” Gonzalez wrote. “I’ve never met or spoken with tony Bosch or used any substance…Provided by him.anything said to the contrary is a lie.”
The New Times’ story claims that Gonzalez appears in Bosch’s records five times as a customer, though his name is not connected to the purchase of any performance-enhancing drugs. Gonzalez’ father, Max, also appears in Bosch’s ledger and the publication quotes Max Gonzalez conceding that he was a Biogenesis customer “because I needed to lose weight” and denying his son had ever met Bosch.
The biggest name on the list of athletes connected to the clinic, now closed, is Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees’ star third baseman who has previously admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs between 2001 and 2003.
The Miami New Times is a free weekly newspaper published in Miami.
Major League Baseball issued a lengthy statement on the New Times’ story and says it is in the midst of an active investigation. In part it reads:
“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.”
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