This morning, we brought you the story from the Miami New-Times of several MLB players that were linked to a Miami clinic called Biogenesis, a clinic that reportedly supplied them with various performance-enhancing drugs. Among the names included in the report were Alex Rodriguez, Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, and Gio Gonzalez. Cruz and Gonzalez had never been linked to PEDs in the past, and their inclusion came as a surprise to many fans.
Of course as you'd expect following reports like this, several of the players involved are in full-blown denial mode. Here are some of the latest statements from the involved players, their teams, and the league.
First, from Major League Baseball:
“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.”
Next, from Alex Rodriguez, via the Sitrick and Company PR firm:
"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. 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."
The New York Yankees:
"We fully support the Commissioner's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. This matter is now in the hands of the Commissioner's Office. We will have no further comment until that investigation has concluded."
"I've never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind, and I never will. I've never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substances provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie."
The Texas Rangers:
"The Texas Rangers were contacted late last week by Miami New Times regarding the story posted this morning. At that time, the Rangers contacted Major League Baseball on that inquiry. The team has no further comment."
And that's all we've got for now. The comments from the Yankees and Rangers almost seem to distance themselves from Rodriguez and Cruz, and while we obviously don't know anything concrete yet, it's a little telling in my mind. More interesting is the phrasing in the comment from Gonzalez, saying that he has never met Bosch...but the report from the Miami New-Herald included a quote from his father saying that the elder Gonzalez had visited Bosch's clinic to lose weight.
This is a mess, and we'll have more information on this as it comes in. Remember: a player doesn't need to test positive to be suspended for PEDs, they only need to possess the drugs, and the league can also suspend players with concrete proof.