LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez is among a group of elite baseball players linked to a Miami clinic that allegedly supplied performance enhancing drugs.
Gonzalez’s appears five times in documents kept by Anthony Bosch, who ran the PED-supplying clinic, Biogenesis, according to a report by Tim Elfrink of the Miami New Times.
Among Bosch’s documents was a note from 2012 that reads: “Order 1.c.1 with Zinc/MIC/… and Aminorip. For Gio and charge $1,000.”
As allegations began to swirl, Gonzalez issued a brief statement on Twitter, firmly denying any involvement in the scandal.
“I’ve never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will,” the pitcher tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substance [provided] by him. [A]nything said to the contrary is a lie.”
Bosch has previously been investigated by Major League Baseball and the Drug Enforcement Agency for supplying PEDs to players. He has been linked to substances the led to the 50-game suspension of Manny Ramirez, then of the Los Angeles Dodgers, in 2009.
Gonzalez posted a career-best 21-8 record, leading the National League in wins and was a Cy Young Award contender last season. His 2.89 ERA was also the lowest of his career.
Gonzalez finished fourth among NL pitchers with 207 strikeouts.
Gonzalez Career ERA
2008 – OAK: 7.68
2009 – OAK: 5.75
2010 – OAK: 3.23
2011 – OAK: 3.12
2012 – WAS: 2.89
His father, Hialeah, Fla., native Max Gonzalez, also appears on Bosch’s client list. The elder Gonzalez says he visited the clinic for weight-loss purposes and that he was unaware steroid distribution was part of the clinic’s business. He also claims Bosch never met his son.
“My son works very, very hard, and he’s as clean as apple pie,” Max Gonzalez told the Miami NewTimes. “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?”
When one thinks of PED use in baseball, muscle-bound batters blasting 500-foot home runs are the prominent images that come to mind. The advantages of using are quite different from those gained by the kings of the long-ball era. This has little to do with building strength.
The recovery time for a pitcher’s arm is dramatically shorter when using certain PEDs. What once took days is now being accomplished into a single day — if not sooner.
For many, that opportunity is worth the risk.
Since 2005, 14 of the 31 Major League Baseball players suspended for using PEDs have been pitchers. Among the group is Guillermo Mota who was suspended 100 games last season after testing positive for a second time.
In the span of two weeks last August, Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera, whose names both appear in Bosch’s documents, were each suspended 50 games by MLB after testing positive for synthetic testosterone. It is unclear whether those suspensions are tied to the investigation into the Miami clinic.
Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, and Yasmani Grandal were also mentioned in the report.