Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo's Statement On Miami New Times' Article Mentioning Gio Gonzalez; Ties To Miami Clinic That Sold Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo issued a statement this afternoon about the Miami New Times' report in which Nats' lefty Gio Gonzalez's name came up in notes written by Anthony Bosch, whose company, Biogenesis, is believed to have been selling performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.

SI.com's Tom Verducci, in an appearance on 106.7 the FAN in Washington, D.C. with LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes this afternoon, talked about the report this morning in the Miami New Times which mentions Washington Nationals' lefty Gio Gonzalez as one of nine players with ties to Miami, Florida and a Miami-based company called, "Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic... just a hard line drive's distance from the UM campus," that is believed to have been, "... selling performance-enhancing drugs, from human growth hormone (HGH) to testosterone to anabolic steroids."

Gonzalez's name comes up in the notes of the, "... clinic's chief, 49-year-old Anthony Bosch." As the Miami New Times' Tim Elfrink writes in the article, however, the Nats' starter's case is "curious", especially considering that, as many sources have since noted, nothing in the note published today makes mention of any substances banned by Major League Baseball and unlike several of the other names released today, Gonzalez has never failed any drug tests:

"There's also the curious case of Gio Gonzalez, the 27-year-old, Hialeah-native, left-handed hurler who won 21 games last year for the Washington Nationals. Gonzalez's name appears five times in Bosch's notebooks, including a specific note in the 2012 book reading, 'Order 1.c.1 with Zinc/MIC/... and Aminorip. For Gio and charge $1,000.' (Aminorip is a muscle-building protein.)

"Gonzalez's father, Max, also appears on Bosch's client lists and is often listed in conjunction with the pitcher. But reached by phone, the Hialeah resident insists his son has had no contact with Bosch.

"'My son works very, very hard, and he's as clean as apple pie,' the elder Gonzalez says. '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?"

The elder Gonzalez's story is similar to two others in the article. Biogenesis' clients referred to as "Juan Garcia" and "Jan" describe how they referred to the clinic, with Mr. "Garcia" quoted explaining that, "... He'd recently hit his late 40s, felt his energy and libido sagging, and wanted to see what Bosch could do for him," while "Jan" says she, "... went to Bosch in early 2012 as she struggled to keep up her workout regimen while traveling for work."

Gio Gonzalez, through his his personal (verified) Twitter account @GioGonzalez47) released the following statement a few hours after the article was published this afternoon:

Major League Baseball released a statement this afternoon in which they said they were investigation the allegations made in the article:

"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...

"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."

Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo released the following statement about the article within the last hour:

"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."

As SI.com's Tom Verducci reiterated in his interview on 106.7 the FAN in D.C., it's far too early to pass judgment on Gonzalez or anyone named in the story. "I think especially in [Gonzalez's] case it's very premature," Verducci said, noting that he had to read the article a few more times, "But from what I read, I didn't see Gonzalez connected to any substances that were banned by Major League Baseball. Now, you can question why is his name, or why is he, in this log book at all? It seemed to be a fly-by-night-type of wellness clinic that, you know, this guy Anthony Bosch was shuttling back and forth and shutting clinics down and then reopening another one..."

"These guys can afford all the best care in the world," Verducci continued, "there's no question about that. I can question judgement, but at least from reading the story, I don't see exposure in terms of using banned substances. Now again, maybe I missed something there. Maybe the Miami New Times has other information. Maybe there's something that's more damaging in terms of the documents that they did procure. But right now, the way I read the story, on its face value, first read, I don't see exposure on Gonzalez's part and he has since issued a denial as well."

More info when it is available...

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