Alex Rodriguez and Gio Gonzalez have been linked to Major League Baseball's latest performance-enhancing drug scandal, and both players are denying the allegations.
With a report from the Miami New Times listing them as clients of Human Growth Hormone and anabolic steroid distributor Anthony Bosch, Alex Rodriguez and Gio Gonzalez are denying allegations of performance-enhancing drug use.
The report links Rodriguez and Gonzalez, as well as such prominent names as Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal and Bartolo Colon, to an out-of-business Miami clinic, Biogenisis. While the business was advertised as an anti-aging clinic, according to to the New Times, it was simply a front for PED distribution. Bosch, who ran the clinic, was linked to Manny Ramirez's steroid suspension in 2009. Bosch's father, Pedro, supplied the banned substance to Ramirez.
Major League Baseball reacted to the report with a fairly vague statement calling for the need to remain vigilant against the spread of PED use. The organization is looking into the claims against the south Florida clinic.
"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."
Rodriguez, who is fifth on Major League Baseball's home run list with 645, admitted in 2009 that he used performance enhancing drugs from 2001-03 when he was with the Texas Rangers, but he claimed to have been clean since that time. If this new report is true, it would directly contradict Rodriguez's claim. In a statement released to the media regarding the report, a spokesperson for Rodriguez flat-out denied the claims that he was treated by or received PEDs from Bosch:
The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch's patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story -- at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez -- are not legitimate.
Gonzalez is coming off a career year with the Washington Nationals in which he compiled a 21-8 record and 2.89 ERA. He was listed in Bosch's ledger as having received a product called AminoRip, but according to Chris Mottram at Mr. Irrelevant, a cross-referencing of that product's ingredient list with MLB's banned substances list revealed no outlawed drugs. After the report was published, Gonzalez took to Twitter to claim his innocence.
I've never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will ,I've never met or spoken with tony Bosch orused any substance— Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) January 29, 2013
Provided by him.anything said to the contrary is a lie.— Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) January 29, 2013
It's unclear just yet what sort of punishment could come from the report. The implicated players could be suspended based on evidence and probably cause, even if they haven't failed a drug test, according to Yahoo Sports's Jeff Passan. Three of the players in the report -- Cabrera, Colon and Grandal -- have already been suspended once for failed drug tests. If found guilty, the three could face 100-game suspensions from Major League Baseball. A third offense could result in a lifetime ban.