Once again, Major League Baseball has another performance-enhancing drug scandal on its hands. According to a damning report published on Tuesday morning by the Miami New Times, an "anti-aging clinic" called Biogenesis of America sold PEDs -- including human growth hormone and anabolic steroids -- to several baseball stars in 2009.
Among the names appearing the records, obtained by the New Times from an employee who used to work at Biogenesis before it apparently closed last month, include Alex Rodriguez, Washington Nationals star Gio Gonzalez and Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz.
After the New Times story was published, Gonzalez took to Twitter in an attempt to state his innocence.
Over the weekend, ESPN's Outside The Lines reported that the league was investigating several "wellness clinics" in South Florida which are believed to be linked to PEDs.
The New York Daily News first reported on Saturday that the league was investigating Anthony Bosch, the man identified by the Miami New Times as the "chief" of Biogenesis. According to the News, A-Rod is just one of as many as 20 players linked to Bosch, citing a law-enforcement source close to the investigation.
Rodriguez also denied that he ever received performance-enhancing drugs from Bosch shortly after the Miami New Times report was published.
"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true," Rodriguez said in a statement soon to be released, but obtained by Joel Sherman of the New York Post. "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."
Major League Baseball released a statement later on Tuesday in regards to the Miami New Times via MLB.com
"We are 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 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.
The recommendations of the Mitchell Report have once again played a critical role in Major League Baseball’s ongoing efforts against performance-enhancing drugs. MLB implemented all of the recommendations made by Senator Mitchell in 2007, several of which emphasized the significance of installing proactive investigative services.
The establishment of our Department of Investigations has represented a critical advance in these comprehensive efforts. In the years since its formation, DOI’s work has proven pivotal to bringing to light information regarding the use of performance-enhancing substances. Furthermore, DOI has built strong working relationships with federal and local law enforcement authorities. These relationships are crucial because only law enforcement officials have the capacity to reach those outside the game who are involved in the distribution of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Vigilance remains the key toward protecting the integrity of our game. We have the best and most stringent drug testing policy in professional sports, we continue to work with our doctors and trainers to learn what they are seeing day-to-day and we educate our players about the game’s unbending zero-tolerance approach. We remain fully committed to following all leads and seeking the appropriate outcomes for all those who use, purchase and are involved in the distribution of banned substances, which have no place in our game.
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.”
More from the Associated Press:
NEW YORK — Major League Baseball says it is "extremely disappointed" about a new report that says records from an anti-aging clinic in the Miami area link Alex Rodriguez and other players to the purchase of performance-enhancing drugs.
The Miami New Times said in a story Tuesday that it had obtained files through an employee at a recently closed clinic called Biogenesis.
MLB responded with a statement that says "through our Department of Investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in South Florida." The unsigned statement also says "we are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances."
Other players on the list include Melky Cabrera, Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon and Nelson Cruz. Cabrera and Colon were each suspended for failing drug tests last season. Rodriguez has admitted using steroids from 2001-03 but insisted he stopped after that.