The substances Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez allegedly received from the South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis and its chief Anthony Bosch weren’t banned by Major League Baseball, according to two anonymous sources in a Tuesday night ESPN report.
Gonzalez, who was linked to the now shuttered clinic and Bosch by a Miami New Times report on Jan. 29, has maintained that he didn’t have any contact with Bosch, wasn’t a patient of the clinic and has never used performance-enhancing drugs. Gonzalez was among several current major leaguers, including Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera, who were tied to the clinic in documents cited by the New Times. MLB has been investigating the clinic and players linked to it.
According to the ESPN report, Gonzalez was the only player previously identified in the Biogenesis documents who didn’t receive PEDs from Bosch or the clinic. A document cited by ESPN said that Gonzalez allegedly received ”$1,000 worth of substances, but under ‘notes’ are several substances not banned by Major League Baseball: ‘gluthetyn’ (which a source said was a misspelling of glutathione), ‘IM [intramuscular] shots,’ and amino acids.”
The ESPN report said that “glutathione is an anti-oxidant” and cited one source that said that the “‘IM shots’ Gonzalez received were ‘MICs,’ a medically dubious but legal combination of methionine, inositol and choline, often used for weight loss.”
Gonzalez’s father, Max, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment late Tuesday. A Nationals spokesman also didn’t immediately respond to a message. General Manager Mike Rizzo has declined to talk about specifically about Gonzalez’s case last week because of the pending investigation, but he expressed a degree of confidence in the left-handed pitcher.
Gonzalez’s name surfaced in the Times report, which cited handwritten notebooks kept by Bosch. 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.”
When he reported to spring training last week, Gonzalez said he had never used any of the products. In his career, he hasn’t failed a drug test. Gonzalez was drug tested two days after the New Times report was released.
Max Gonzalez’s name also appeared in the clinic’s documents, according to the New Times report. Gio Gonzalez had no explanation for why his name appeared in the records. Both his name and Max Gonzalez’s name appear on the same page in some documents released by the New Times. Max Gonzalez told the New Times that he went to the clinic for weight loss.
The ESPN report seems to lend support to Gonzalez’s claim that he didn’t use PEDs. And, if the substances are what was reported, then they could conceivably have been used to lose weight, as Max Gonzalez claimed. The new report, however, does raise further questions: Was Gio Gonzalez indeed the recipient of the substances from Biogenesis and Bosch? If so, did Gonzalez have any contact with Bosch or his clinic, which he previously denied?
MLB’s investigation could take weeks, and MLB has asked the New Times to hand over its documents. The newspaper is considering the request. Although the investigation is weighing on him, Gonzalez recently accepted an invitation to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.