Major League Baseball sent out a press release entitled, "Discipline issued in Biogenesis investigation," at 3:00 pm EDT this afternoon which listed the names of 12 players who received 50-game suspensions for, "... violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in relation to the Biogenesis investigation." Philadelphia Phillies' reliever Antonio Bastardo, San Diego Padres' infielder Everth Cabrera, New York Yankees' catcher Francisco Cervelli, Texas Rangers' outfielder Nelson Cruz, Detroit Tigers' infielder Jhonny Peralta and New York Mets' infielder/outfielder Jordany Valdespin where among those who received suspensions.
Additionally, MLB added that three players, "Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, all of whom already have served 50-game suspensions as a result of their violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program stemming from their connections to Biogenesis," would not receive any additional discipline.
In the final paragraph of the release, MLB officials included the following information:
"Major League Baseball's investigation found no violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez or Baltimore Orioles infielder Danny Valencia."
Gonzalez, 27, denied any connection to the Biogenesis clinic and denied ever having used performance-enhanching drugs when it was revealed in a Miami New Times' report earlier this year that his name appeared several times in the notes of the clinic's owner, Anthony Bosch. After the announcement today, the Nationals' left-handed starter released the following statement through the team:
"I am very pleased that Major League Baseball has cleared my name. With this process now complete, I have no lingering sense of animosity, as I quickly realized that the objective of this investigation was to clean up our game. This is an ideal that I share with both Major League Baseball and the MLBPA. I would also like to acknowledge the unwavering support of my teammates, the Lerner Family, Mike Rizzo, Davey Johnson, our coaching staff and Nationals fans everywhere."
• Here's our report from this morning, which includes links to all the previous reports in case you're somehow just catching up on all this:
From the start, his involvement in the Biogenesis/PED scandal was described as "curious." Gio Gonzalez's name was one of seven included in the original Miami New Times' report by Tim Elfrink which linked major league players to an anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Florida that was accused of providing performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes. Gonzalez's name appeared five times in the personal, hand-written notebooks of the clinic's chief Anthony Bosch.
"What's happening now," Gonzalez told reporters after his first official workout of the 2013 season in Spring Training, "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." Six month later, the Nats' starter has reportedly been cleared of any wrongdoing in the Biogenesis/PED investigation conducted by Major League Baseball:
In his public comments on the investigation, Gonzalez denied any connection to the anti-aging clinic, though his father admitted in the article that he had visited the clinic to seek weight-loss advice. Gonzalez's father was clear from the start, however, that his son had no connection to the clinic.
Gonzalez never failed a drug test and was adamant when he spoke to reporters this Spring that he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs and 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 the Nationals' left-hander's name in the notebooks of the clinic's chief. Gonzalez insisted though that he had no personal connection whatsoever to the clinic.
"[My] father already admitted that he was a patient there, a legitimate patient," Gonzalez told reporters, "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."
Subsequent reports said Gonzalez had not purchased PEDs from the clinic. Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore wrote late last month that the Nationals were not worried about Gonzalez receiving any discipline:
"They have no concern Gio Gonzalez will be disciplined when MLB issues suspensions to players with ties to the Biogenesis case. The New York Post reported discipline could be meted out this week. Gonzalez is 'not in that group,' one Nationals official said."
Several of the players named in the clinic's chief's notebooks accepted 50-game suspensions today, including the Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz, the Detroit Tigers' Jhonny Peralta, the Philadelphia Phillies' Antonio Bastardo, the New York Mets' Jordany Valdespin and the San Diego Padres' Everth Cabrera.