Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Report links Alex Rodriguez, other baseball players to PEDs

An anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables that had been under the scrutiny of Major League Baseball for several months has now been cited in a published report as a supplier of performance-enhancing drugs to a half-dozen players, including the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.

Miami New Times, in an article published Tuesday, reported that an unidentified former employee of Biogenesis of America, which is now closed, had provided the newspaper with medical records from the facility that tie Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Yasmani Grandal to the use of performance-enhancers.

The newspaper accompanied the online article with copies of what it said were handwritten notations from the clinic that list various drugs allegedly distributed to clients. The documents have not been independently authenticated and several players, including Rodriguez, have denied being patients there.

Cabrera, Colon and Grandal were suspended in the past year by baseball for positive drug tests. Gonzalez and Cruz have not previously been linked to the use of performance-enhancers. Rodriguez, who is now recovering from hip surgery, has admitted to using performance-enhancers from 2001-03, when he was a member of the Rangers.

In a statement several hours after the report emerged, Rodriguez denied that he had any relationship with the director of the clinic, Anthony Bosch, or that he was ever treated by him.

The statement, issued through the public relations firm Sitrick and Co., said: "The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not 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."

Contacted by phone, a firm spokesman added, "Alex denies using performance-enhancing drugs at any time in the period referred to in the story." Sitrick and Co. specializes in crisis management for its clients.

Gonzalez also issued a denial, through Twitter: "I've never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will. I've never met or spoke with Tony Bosch or used any substance."

The Yankees said they fully supported baseball's drug program but would have no further comment until an investigation by the commissioner's office had concluded. Espn.com reported the team might try to void Rodriguez's contract, though it seems doubtful that it could. New York owes Rodriguez $114 million over the next five years.

In a statement, Major League Baseball said it was "always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances."

"These developments, however, provide evidence of the comprehensive nature of our antidrug efforts," the statement added. "Through our Department of Investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in South Florida."

Although Rodriguez has denied using performance enhancers after 2003, investigators for Major League Baseball have questioned him several times about possible drug links, and he has maintained his stance. The investigators now plan to question him again, along with the others cited in the Miami New Times report, the New York Times reported.

Until now, Major League Baseball did not have documents that linked players using the clinic to performance-enhancers. The investigators will seek to obtain the records cited by Miami New Times and authenticate them in the hopes of using them as evidence to discipline the players.

Baseball's investigators do not have the power to subpoena documents to compel witnesses to talk to them. They hope to talk to Bosch, who does not appear to have a criminal record.

MARINERS: Former Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach agreed to a minor-league contract.

METS: Second baseman Daniel Murphy agreed to a one-year contract worth $2,925,000.

PADRES: Right-hander Freddy Garcia signed a minor-league contract worth $1.3 million with $1.25 million in incentives.

ROCKIES: Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin avoided arbitration by finalizing a $6.5 million, two-year contract.

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