Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez responded with a statement to last night’s revelation from ESPN that he did not purchase banned substances from the Biogenesis clinic, but he did not take questions and did not clarify the lingering discrepancy between ESPN’s report and Gonzalez’s prior public comments.
“I’m going to be honest with you guys, I haven’t heard anything yet officially from MLB,” Gonzalez said to a group of reporters. “I do plan on sitting down and cooperating with them. I want to get this all done already, before the season starts. This is all new to me, guys. I do look plan on getting ready. Looking forward to spring training. I feel confident this is going to come out good.”
ESPN, citing two sources, reported that Gonzalez was the only player named in a Jan. 29 Miami New Times report who did not receive banned performance-enhancing drugs from the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic. On the day he arrived at spring training, Gonzalez emphatically denied ever using PEDs.
ESPN also reported, citing a document, that Gonzalez purchased $1,000 worth of permissible substances from Biogenesis owner Tony Bosch. Gonzalez has denied any connection to the clinic aside from his father, Max Gonzalez, who admitted to buying supplements from Biogenesis for the purpose weight loss. ESPN reported the substances purchased under Gonzalez’s name were for weight loss.
The ESPN report supported both Gonzalez’s most important assertion – that he has never taken banned drugs – and the Nationals’ internal belief that he will avoid a 50-game suspension.
“I wasn’t really concerned about it,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “Knowing Gio, I kind of had the feeling three weeks ago that it was nothing. I’m glad we’re past that. It’s one less thing. Those are the kind of problems I like to address and turn it over.”
While the report offered a promising sign for the Nationals, MLB has yet to close its investigation into Gonzalez and his connection to Biogenesis.
“We haven’t heard anything official from MLB,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “We’re still waiting on word from them. We’ll hold our comments until we hear something official.”
When asked if he could explain the reported connection between Gonzalez and the clinic, Rizzo said, “We’re not talking about that.”
In his career, Gonzalez hasn’t failed a drug test. Gonzalez was drug tested two days after the New Times report was released.