Major League Baseball investigators have asked for records from the Miami New Times, the alternative weekly that last week detailed connections between current major leaguers and a South Florida clinic that allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs. According to editor in chief Chuck Strouse, MLB officials were in the newspaper’s office on Monday seeking the documents cited in last week’s report.
Strouse said in an e-mail Tuesday that the newspaper had not yet decided whether it would hand over records to investigators. MLB does not have subpoena power.
A lengthy Miami New Times investigation published last Tuesday linked Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez and some of baseball’s biggest names, including Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and Melky Cabrera of the Toronto Blue Jays, to a Coral Gables clinic named Biogenesis and the facility’s chief, Anthony Bosch, who allegedly provided some of them banned drugs such as human growth hormone and testosterone.
According to Bosch’s handwritten notes and files provided to the alternative weekly, Gonzalez is tied to substances listed as zinc, MIC, Aminorip and a “pink cream,” which is described as containing testosterone. The New Times cited a notebook belonging to Bosch as a chief source in the story. The newspaper also released images of pages that mentioned Gonzalez, and his father, on its Web site last week.
Gonzalez said via Twitter last week that he had “never met or spoken with” Bosch. Gonzalez’s father, Max, denied to the New Times that his son used any banned substances and said that it was he, not his son, who had consulted with Bosch on a weight-loss program.
Bosch’s attorney disputed the New Times report in a statement earlier last week, saying it was “filled with inaccuracies, innuendo and misstatements” and that Bosch “vehemently denies the assertions that MLB players such as Alex Rodriguez and Gio Gonzalez were treated by or associated with him.”
MLB investigators have been in South Florida since at least last week looking into the clinic, Bosch and the connected players. (It’s unclear whether federal authorities, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, are actively investigating now.) If MLB investigators were to build a case against named players mentioned in the report to seek suspensions, the notebook cited by the New Times could be helpful evidence.
“We’ve made no decision,” Strouse said last week when asked how the newspaper would respond were MLB to ask for documents. “We kind of bounced the idea round. Obviously we know there is going to be interest, not just from MLB but possibly from law enforcement, and that was a concern even before we started doing the story. We talked about it but haven’t made any conclusion.”
“There are times when you don’t want to give things up and times you do,” Strouse added. “This is not a clear-cut case.”
San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal, Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon and Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz were also named in the report.
Strouse said the documents obtained from the clinic also contained names of other baseball players but those couldn’t be verified. He said the names of everyday people also appear in the documents.