On Tuesday morning, the Miami New Times shook up the baseball world with an "explosive" article three months in the making which detailed information writer Tim Elfrink found in what was described as, "an extraordinary batch of records," given to the paper by an employee off an anti-aging clinic called "Biogenesis" which has since gone out of business. The New Times' reporter examined, "... patient files, the payment records, and the handwritten notebooks kept by the clinic's chief," 49-year-old, Anthony "Tony" Bosch, whose personal notebooks connected several major league players to the facility which was suspected of, "... selling performance-enhancing drugs, from human growth hormone (HGH) to testosterone to anabolic steroids," to professional athletes.
The Miami New Times conducted, "Interviews with six customers and two former employees," who corroborated, "the tale told by the patient files, the payment records, and the handwritten notebooks kept by the clinic's chief."
Washington Nationals' left-hander Gio Gonzalez was one of seven players whose names were included in the article. Also mentioned in the notebooks were three major leaguers: Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal, who tested positive for PEDs in 2012 and were suspended, one player, Alex Rodriguez, who admitted to having used performance-enhancing drugs earlier in his career, Cesar Carrillo, who's played three games in the majors in an eight-year pro career and Texas Rangers' slugger Nelson Cruz.
MLB announced Tuesday morning that they were investigating the claims made in the article.
As the Miami New Times' Mr. Elfrink wrote in the original article, Gio Gonzalez's case was "curious":
"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?"
Gio Gonzalez has never failed a drug test. None of the substances tied to Gonzalez in the original Miami New Times' report are on MLB's banned substance list. His father admitted that he'd dealt with Mr. Bosch's clinic while denying his son had any involvement. The Nats' 27-year-old left-hander took to his his personal (verified) Twitter account (@GioGonzalez47) to deny the allegations made in the report:
I've never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will ,I've never met or spoken with tony Bosch orused any substance— Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) January 29, 2013
Provided by him.anything said to the contrary is a lie.— Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) January 29, 2013
Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo released a statement Tuesday night which read simply, "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."
On Wednesday afternoon the Miami New Times released a follow-up article, "The Gio Gonzalez Files: Every Mention Of The Nationals Pitcher in Tony Bosch's Notebook", which, as the title suggests, included photos of all of the mentions of Gonzalez's name in Anthony Bosch's notes. The first image simply lists Gonzalez's name (noting he's a "pitcher"), along with those of Nelson Cruz, Cesar Carrillo and Melky Cabrera. In the second image the Nats' lefty's name appears along with his father's.
The third mention shows Gonzalez's name and a comparison of two rows of stats next to what is said in the article to be a formula for "pink cream," which is described elsewhere in the Miami New Times' Mr. Elfrink's report as, "... a complex formula that also includes testosterone." The last two notebook pages mention Gio's name again along with his father's and some of the previously mentioned products.
The Washington Post's James Wagner and The Washington Times' Amanda Comak both published reports on Wednesday afternoon noting Gio Gonzalez's connection to, "Jimmy Goins, the strength and conditioning coach for the [Miami] Hurricanes baseball team for the past nine seasons," whose name was also mentioned in Tuesday's Miami New Times' report:
"Goins is recorded in multiple client lists; in one detailed page dated December 14, 2011, Bosch writes he's selling him Anavar, testosterone, and a Winstrol/B-12 mix and charging him $400 a month. Another, from this past December, includes sales of HGH and testosterone."
Gonzalez had previously posted a photo via Instagram of himself and the trainer, writing that Goins was his, "offseason strength coach." Mr. Goins, through his attorney, denied any wrongdoing or connection to the Biogenesis clinic in a Florida Sun Sentinel article by Michael Casagrande:
"He hasn't done anything wrong either personally or as a representative of the University of Miami," said [Gordon] Fenderson, an attorney specializing in DUI defense with offices in Jacksonville and Coral Gables. "And as far as being on a client list of a certain doctor, any connection of the University of Miami or their baseball program would be purely coincidental."
In a statement included in a follow-up article by the Miami New Times' Mr. Elfrink on Wednesday, the clinic chief, Mr. Bosch, through his attorney, denied any connection to either Alex Rodriguez or Gonzalez:
"The Miami New Times Story dated January 29, 2013 is filled with inaccuracies, innuendo and misstatements of fact. Mr. Bosch vehemently denies the assertions that MLB players such as Alex Rodriguez and Gio Gonzalez were treated by or associated with him.
The Law Office Of Susy Ribero-Ayala, P.A.
Miami New Times' editor Chuck Strouse appeared on the MLB Network's Hot Stove show on Wednesday, talking about how the reporters acquired the information they were given and how they went about confirming what they found. In the process of doing so, Mr. Strouse tells the hosts, they contacted everyone they could, corroborated what was in the notes and became convinced that what they had was, "the genuine article," and as Mr. Strouse put it, "... the guys listed in these records had some business with Biogenesis." Mr. Strouse said he got "stone silence" from the players when they attempted to contact them about the story. He does, however, as the New Times' Mr. Elfrink did, mention that Gio Gonzalez's case, in particular, was "interesting":
"Interestingly, the most interesting response was from Gio Gonzalez's dad, who we contacted. He acknowledged being, the father, being a client of this clinic. Gonzalez himself said, "My son had nothing to do with it...' Now the records show, or seem to show that some performance-enhancing drugs were delivered to his son. But, you know, the dad called and was pretty open about his own involvement with the clinic, and denied his son. So what the truth is, I mean, that's beyond us. But there's records that show the son's involvement, and there's the father's denial of the son's involvement but acknowledgment of his own."
• Watch Miami New Times' Editor Chuck Strouse on the MLB Network:
Do the records, as released thus far, "show that some performance-enhancing drugs" were delivered to Gonzalez? If not, does the Miami New Times have other information which would support that claim? Yahoo!Sports.com's Jeff Passan reported on Wednesday that Major League Baseball planned to interview all of the players mentioned in the Miami New Times' report. There has been no new information on Gio Gonzalez's alleged involvement released since the intial reports on Tuesday and Wednesday...