- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Gio Gonzalez under PED cloud after Miami clinic report
Question of the Day
Gio Gonzalez has never been suspended by Major League Baseball. No failed tests by the Washington Nationals pitcher have been announced or made public. And before Tuesday morning, the idea of linking Gonzalez’s name with “performance-enhancing drugs” was a seemingly ludicrous one.
But Gonzalez, whose name surfaced along with several other star players in a report linking him to a Miami anti-aging clinic suspected of supplying athletes with PEDs, is now faced with an issue looming over so many of this century’s ballplayers, from Jeff Bagwell to Ryan Braun.
Gonzalez maintains his innocence, issuing a vehement denial of any involvement on his part, and the supplements linked to him in the report do not appear to be on baseball’s list of banned substances. But the cloud that steroid use has cast over sports has made its way over the affable left-hander’s head.
A detailed account from the Miami New Times listed Gonzalez among several star baseball players and other athletes linked to a Miami clinic called Biogenesis run by Anthony Bosch. The report, which was based on records obtained from the clinic as well as interviews with customers and former employees, was headlined by the inclusion of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, whose lengthy involvement with the clinic was listed in great detail.
Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Yasmani Grandal were other major leaguers linked by the report to Bosch, who along with his father Pedro previously was linked to Manny Ramirez’s PED suspension in 2009. Rodriguez, Cabrera, Colon and Grandal have all either admitted to or been suspended previously for PED use.
While the drugs listed in connection with players like Rodriguez and Cabrera appear to be among those banned by Major League Baseball, such as human growth hormone and testosterone creams, the supplements linked to Gonzalez appear legal under baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
“I’ve never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind, and I never will,” Gonzalez said in a statement issued to The Washington Times and later repeated on Twitter. “I’ve never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substances provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie.”
In the report, Gonzalez’s name was said to show up in Bosch’s records five times, including a 2012 entry that read: “Order 1.c.1 with Zinc/MIC/ and Aminorip. For Gio and charge $1,000.” None of the ingredients in AminoRip, a muscle-building protein supplement, nor MIC (believed to be an abbreviation for Methionine Inositol Choline, often used in weight loss injections), appear on the list of banned substances published by MLB or the World Anti-Doping Agency.
A website selling AminoRip, aminoripcollagen.com, uses its apparent legality as a selling point for athletes stating “AminoRip has been tested and it is pharmaceutical grade. It also tests negative for all banned substances, so is safe for competitive athletes to use.”
There is a link to the clinic within Gonzalez’s family, however. Gonzalez’s father, Max, went to the clinic on the recommendation of a friend in an attempt to lose weight and improve his health. The elder Gonzalez, the patriarch of a very close-knit family from Hialeah, Fla., is known to talk proudly of his son and his accomplishments in baseball. He denied his son had any involvement with the clinic.
“My son works very, very hard, and he’s as clean as apple pie,” he told the New Times. “I went to Tony because I needed to lose weight. A friend recommended him, and he did great work for me. But that’s it. He never met my son. Never. And if I knew he was doing these things with steroids, do you think I’d be dumb enough to go there?”
Gonzalez won 21 games for the Nationals in 2012, his first season with the team after arriving from Oakland in a trade. He finished third in National League Cy Young voting and was considered one of the best pitchers in baseball for much of the season.
Gonzalez’s representatives at ACES, an agency run by Sam and Seth Levinson, also represent Cabrera and were investigated by MLB last summer after evidence was discovered that implicated one of their employees in a cover-up scheme. According to the New York Times, that investigation led them to uncover links between players and the Miami clinic. The Times also cited a baseball official in reporting “six of the players the commissioner’s office believes were treated by the clinic are clients of the Levinsons.”
Major League Baseball is still investigating the clinic and the situation in Miami, the league said in a statement.
“We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances,” the statement said. “These developments, however, provide evidence of the comprehensive nature of our anti-drug efforts. Through our Department of Investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in South Florida. It is also important to note that three of the players allegedly involved have already been disciplined under the Joint Drug Program.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- New York Times reporter Carol Vogel accused of plagiarism
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- ISIL destroys key bridge leading to Baghdad; suicide truck bomb severed supply line
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world