Alex Rodriguez the biggest name in a new PED report that could grow into BALCO-like scandal
A man in south Florida supplied performance-enhancing drugs to more than half a dozen major league players, including Alex Rodriguez, according to a Miami New Times report that officials at Major League Baseball believe will grow into a doping scandal that could rival the BALCO case that tarnished Barry Bonds.
The newspaper reported Tuesday morning that Anthony Bosch, a self-styled biochemist seen frequently in Latin American baseball circles, distributed large amounts of human growth hormone, synthetic testosterone and other cocktails of PEDs to players who previously had not been linked, such as Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz.
[Related: Alex Rodriguez denies using PEDs from Miami clinic]
Some of the players could be subject to a 50-game suspension for a violation of the league's PED policy, a league official told Yahoo! Sports. Three of Bosch's alleged clients – outfielder Melky Cabrera, pitcher Bartolo Colon and catcher Yasmani Grandal – already have been caught and suspended by the league.
Following a relatively quiet period, PED busts spiked in baseball last season. From Ryan Braun's positive test for testosterone – which got overturned because of alleged mishandling of evidence – to the suspensions of Cabrera, Colon, Grandal, Freddy Galvis, Marlon Byrd, Guillermo Mota and Carlos Ruiz, baseball is facing a renaissance of use, one it believes centered in south Florida.
While MLB had investigated wellness clinics and other suspected PED purveyors in the Miami area, it had not uncovered much of the blockbuster information revealed in the New Times story, the official told Yahoo! Sports.
[Also: Texas hopes to replace Josh Hamilton with prospects]
The records of players' use, given to the New Times by a former employee at Bosch's Biogenesis clinic, are especially detailed in the cases of Rodriguez and Cabrera. Rodriguez, referred to as "Alex Rodriguez," "Alex Rod" or "Cacique," received HGH, testosterone cream and insulin-like growth factor, all banned under MLB's PED policy. He also was given "troches," a lozenge that has 15 percent testosterone, and other types of growth hormone, according to the report.
Rodriguez's account was "paid through April 30th" of 2012, according to the records.
Cruz, the slugging outfielder whom Bosch nicknamed "Mohamad," gave Bosch $4,000 in July 2012, the records said, for a regimen that included "troches."
The report also links Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez to Bosch, though the five mentions of him in the records are less specific. While they include a $1,000 charge, Gonzalez's father, Max, said he was the one working with Bosch to lose weight.
Florida state and federal authorities have amped up their inquiries into Bosch in recent months, the league official said, as he operated a number of clinics that catered to athletes as well as the growing group that seeks HGH and testosterone as anti-aging treatments.
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Pedro Bosch, a doctor who has worked in Florida for more than 35 years and is Anthony's father, supplied the fertility-drug prescription to Manny Ramirez that prompted his first PED suspension in 2009.
While the Drug Enforcement Agency looked into the Bosches supplying the players, it chose not to pursue a case, according to ESPN.com.
MLB and the players association strengthened the league's PED policy this offseason, instituting random blood testing for HGH and a stronger test for synthetic testosterone triggered by a variation from a baseline testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio the league will keep on every player.
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