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Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez denies link to PEDs

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Sports,MLB,Nationals,Brian McNally

Gio allegedly named in clinic's documents

Nationals 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. Via his verified Twitter account, Gonzalez denied on Tuesday that he's ever met the owner of the now-closed treatment facility or used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind.

In his first season with Washington in 2012 Gonzalez 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 by a former employee of Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. That spreadsheet details customers of Biogenesis, which was run by Anthony Bosch, 49, and what they purchased.

Bosch was previously accused of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to 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.

The New Times' story claims that Gonzalez appears in Bosch's records five times, though his name is not connected with any purchase of performance-enhancing drugs. Gonzalez's father, Max, also appears in Bosch's personal ledger. The publication quotes Max Gonzalez as acknowledging that he was a customer at Biogenesis "because I needed to lose weight" but also denying that his son had ever met Bosch.

Neither Gonzalez nor his father could be reached for further comment. Major League Baseball issued a lengthy statement on the New Times' story and says it is in the midst of an active investigation. The Nationals issued the following statement from general manager Mike Rizzo:

"The issue is currently being reviewed by Major League Baseball and it would be inappropriate for the Nationals to comment until that review is completed."

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was also ensnared in the report.

The New Times said the three-time AL MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis.

The new public relations firm for the New York Yankees third baseman issued a statement denying the allegations.

The newspaper said it obtained records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon and 2011 ALCS MVP Nelson Cruz of Texas.

Cabrera left San Francisco after the season to sign with Toronto, while Oakland re-signed Colon.

Rodriguez appears 16 times in the documents it received, the paper said, either as "Alex Rodriguez," "Alex Rod" or the nickname "Cacique," a pre-Columbian Caribbean chief.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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