"What's happening now," Gio Gonzalez told reporters this afternoon after the 27-year-old left-hander's first official workout of the 2013 campaign, "is that I've cooperated with MLB and I've done everything they want and I feel strong with their program and what they're doing and at the end of the day, it's waiting on them."
Gonzalez's name was one of seven included in an explosive Miami New Times' report by Tim Elfrink which linked major league players to an anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Florida that is suspected of having provided performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes. Since then five more names have come out in subsequent reports. Gonzalez's name appeared five times in the personal, hand-written notebooks of the clinic's chief Anthony Bosch.
Gonzalez denied any connection to the clinic immediately, though his father admitted in the article that he had visited the clinic and sought weight loss advice. The Nats' pitcher's father was clear that his son had no connection to the clinic from the start. Gonzalez has never failed a drug test and he said he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs. The Nationals' 21-game winner reiterated that point this afternoon when asked if he was confident his name would eventually be cleared.
"I feel very confident," Gonzalez said, "I think that at the end of the day, I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs and I never will. So, I'm actually pretty excited about this year."
The Miami New Times published images of each mention of Gonzalez's name in the notebooks of Mr. Bosch. In spite of the fact that he's mentioned in them, Gonzalez insisted today that he has no personal connection to the clinic. "[My] father already admitted that he was a patient there, a legitimate patient," Gonzalez said, "And then after that, you know how my father is, if you guys have been around him, all of South Florida, all of baseball knows that my father is the most proud father in baseball, says, 'Hi,' tells everyone about his son and that's the best I can say. Other than that I have no clue why my name was on that list or on the notebook or anything."
Gonzalez didn't know his father had visited the clinic before the report. "No, I didn't, that I didn't know," Gonzalez said. He has never used any "pink cream" though. The ingredients for what was described in the Miami New Times' article as, "... a complex formula that also includes testosterone," were on a page which also had Gonzalez's name and stats from the first few starts of the year, but Gonzalez said he didn't know anything about it. Was it something he was familiar with or that his father received? "No. No. No," Gonzalez repeated, "Not at all."
The Nats' lefty also wanted the press to know that he didn't want this story to become a distraction for the defending NL East champions. "I'm going to do my best to keep it away from the locker room and cooperate with you guys and make sure that you guys get what you want and stuff like that," Gonzalez told reporters today, "but at the end of the day, I don't want this to be a distraction to the team. I don't want any of this to be about me. Again, it's about the organization, it's about the team together. This should definitely not be a distraction for the guys."
Asked how he actually found out his name was mentioned in the Miami New Times' report, Gonzalez said today that he found out like everyone else did, when the story was published. "Just [like] you guys did. It was posted out there and I was like, 'What's going on?' still in shock and at the end of the day, it's like I said, I've cooperated with MLB, I've done everything they've wanted. Nothing's changed from the story that I've had from when I tweeted it out. So it's been the same thing ever since."
Gonzalez is going to pitch for the US Team in the World Baseball Classic. Joe Torre called the pitcher and invited him to pitch for the United States. After the WBC, Gonzalez will begin his second season in the nation's capital. He said today he has no idea when the MLB investigation into the claims in the Miami New Times' report would end.