Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez passed the drug test MLB administered to him in late January, Gonzalez said today at Nationals spring training. The MLB Players Association informed Gonzalez Friday that the tests on his blood and urine had returned negative, Gonzalez said.
On Jan. 31, two days after a report in the Miami New Times connected him to performance-enhancing drugs purchased from the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, MLB sent investigators to his home to drug test him.
MLB is allowed to test players under a “reasonable cause” provision in the joint drug prevention agreement. If MLB believes 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.
“Like I said before, I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs and I never will,” Gonzalez said. “Two days after the story broke, I was tested for blood and urine, and both came out negative, like I expected. Throughout my entire career, it’s been like that. I look forward to handling this with MLB and putting this behind me and looking forward to the season.”
MLB has not officially absolved Gonzalez, and the league does not require a failed drug test to suspend a player. But recent signs, even before today’s revelation from Gonzalez, have pointed to Gonzalez avoiding the 50-game suspension that would come with any proof he used, bought or distributed PEDs.
This week, ESPN, 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.