When he first reported to spring training on Tuesday, Nationals all-star pitcher Gio Gonzalez denied his link to a South Florida clinic that, according to a Miami New Times report, provided notable active major leaguers with performance-enhancing drugs. He also said he has fully cooperated with Major League Baseball and its investigators and was confident he would be cleared.
Although it’s still unclear what cooperation that entailed, Gonzalez had blood and urine samples taken two days after the New Times report was published on Jan. 29, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
MLB is allowed to test players under a “reasonable cause” provision in the joint drug prevention agreement. If MLB believes it has a reasonable cause to believe a player in the previous 12 months used, possessed or distributed PEDs, officials notify the player and can subject him to drug testing, starting within two days. It’s immediately unclear how long it takes for results to come back, and a player is only notified when he fails.
Gonzalez’s name surfaced over two weeks ago in the New Times report, which cited notebooks kept by Anthony Bosch, the chief of the Biogenesis clinic. His name appeared five times, including a specific 2012 annotation that referred to an order of “Zinc/MIC/…and Aminorip” for $1,000. In records later divulged, Gonzalez’s name appears next to a substance called “pink cream,” described as a “a complex formula that also includes testosterone.” Gonzalez said this week he had never used any of the products. In his career, he hasn’t failed a drug test.
Gonzalez’s father, Max, also appeared in the clinic’s documents, according to thereport. Gio Gonzalez denied being a patient of the clinic and had no explanation for why his name appeared in the records. Max Gonzalez told the New Times that he went to the clinic for weight loss. Gonzalez said the only reason for his name to appear in Bosch’s records would be his bragging proud father.
“Your name was brought up out of nowhere,” Gonzalez said Tuesday. “You’re like, you can’t do nothing about it. You have to listen to what’s going on. You can’t jump the gun. You can’t jump to conclusions. At the end of the day, you have to listen in and wait patiently.”
MLB is investigating Biogenesis and the players allegedly linked to it. The investigation could take weeks, and MLB has asked the New Times to hand over its documents. The newspaper is weighing the request.
Gonzalez, who received public support from team officials on Wednesday, recently accepted an invitation to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.