Miami New Times won’t hand over documents to Major League Baseball relating to the now-defunct anti-aging clinic allegedly tied to current major leaguers, including Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez, editor Chuck Strouse wrote on Tuesday. MLB had asked the newspaper to release the documents to aid its investigation.
The alternative weekly decided, for various reasons, not to hand over the documents they cited in their report that linked several players to performance-enhancing drugs allegedly provided by the South Florida clinic, Biogenesis, and its chief, Anthony Bosch. The newspaper had released images of documents on its website. Gonzalez has vehemently denied using using PEDs or visiting the clinic, and some reports in recent weeks seem to back some of his statements.
MLB’s investigation suffers a blow with this new development, but the league insists it will still pursue the probe into the clinic, Bosch and the players linked.
“While we appreciate the New Times consideration, we have been proceeding with our investigation as if we were not going to be getting documents from them,” MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said in an e-mail.
According to the New Times, league officials wanted direct access to Bosch’s notebooks and documents, hoping to establish a “chain of custody” in order to convince an arbitrator to discipline players. The report also says that Florida health officials have opened a criminal probe against Bosch.
Gonzalez said he passed a drug test administered two days after the report was published on Jan. 29. The league, however, doesn’t require a failed drug test to suspend a player; MLB can issue a 50-game suspension if it proves the player used or possessed banned substances.
A late February ESPN report, citing two sources, reported that Gonzalez had not purchased PEDs from the clinic. Citing a document, ESPN reported that Gonzalez had paid $1,000 for dietary supplements of questionable efficacy. Gonzalez’s father, Max, told the New Times in its original report that he bought supplements from Biogenesis.