Gonzalez Denies PED Use
Charles E. Sutton | 2/4/2013, 10:08 a.m.
Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez is one of dozens of pro athletes connected to a Miami-based anti-aging clinic that allegedly sold performance-enhancing drugs, according to a report in the Miami New Times.
The 27-year-old Gonzalez has never failed a drug test or been suspended by Major League Baseball. On Tuesday, via his verified Twitter account, Gonzalez vehemently denied that he ever met the owner of the now-defunct treatment center or used performance-enhancing drugs of any type.
In 2012, Gonzalez's first season with the Nationals, he posted a 21-8 record with a 2.89 ERA and finished third in the National League Cy Young Award voting. Washington acquired him in a trade with the Oakland A's following the 2011 season.
According to the New Times, Gonzalez's name appeared in a ledger provided to the publication by a former employee of Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. That spreadsheet indicates who the customers were and what they purchased. Biogenesis was operated by 49-year-old Anthony Bosch.
Bosch was previously accused of providing performance-enhancing drugs to Manny Ramirez, a former Major League all-star, who was suspended in 2009 for violating MLB's drug policy.
The New Times' story indicates that Gonzalez's name appears in Bosch's record five times, though his name is not linked with any purchase of performance-enhancing drugs.
Major League Baseball issued a statement on the New Times' story and says it is currently conducting an active investigation. Washington general manager Mike Rizzo issued the following statement:
"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 all-star third baseman Alex Rodriguez was also named in the report. The New Times claimed the three-time AL MVP purchased human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis. Rodriguez's public relations firm issued a statement denying the allegations.
The newspaper said it possessed records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, 2011 ALCS MVP Nelson Cruz and 2012 All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera.
Oakland re-signed Colon, while Cabrera left San Francisco at the end of the season to sign with Toronto.
The newspaper said Rodriguez's name appeared 16 times in the documents it received, either as "Alex Rodriguez", "Alex Rod" or the nickname "Cacique," a pre-Columbian Caribbean chief.