Internally, the Nationals still feel confident that Gonzalez will avoid a 50-game suspension.
Gonzalez has vehemently denied using using PEDs or visiting the now-shuttered Coral Gables clinic that, according to a Miami New Times report in late January, linked him and players such as Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera substances banned by MLB. Yahoo Sports! has linked slugger Ryan Braun to the clinic, too, and reported Wednesday that Rodriguez and Braun are the main targets of the investigation.
MLB’s investigation suffered a recent blow when the New Times declined to honor their request and hand over records that reportedly belonged to the clinic’s chief, Anthony Bosch. 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 said that Florida health officials have opened a criminal probe against Bosch.
Assuming MLB officials can gather enough evidence, interviews with the linked players could be the next step in the investigation.
Gonzalez said he passed a drug test administered two days after the New Times 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.