As announced early on January 29th, 2013, an anti-aging clinic in Miami run by Anthony Bosch has been accused of being a PED factory and the Miami New Times has published an extensive report after reviewing documents, spreadsheets and hand-written customer notes that were obtained by the newspaper from a former employee.
The relevance to the Nationals? Gio Gonzalez appears in the documentation multiple times, along with his father. And while the evidence directly linking Gonzalez to specific orders for HGH, Testosterone or Anabolic steroids is non-existant (unless the code “1.c.1 with Zinc/MIC” can be proven to mean a banned substance), generally speaking where there’s smoke, there’s fire with respect to PEDs and baseball players these days. In James Wagner’s WP article today on the topic, he found a doctor who speculated that MIC may stand for a combination of three compounds that are used frequently in weight loss routines, and definitely NOT illegal.
Even if Gonzalez is completely innocent, this report automatically besmirches his career. Which is either a shame or will be justice. Time will tell. At least there doesn’t seem to be direct, provable evidence that Gonzalez (or his relations) purchased illegal products, a small light for Nats fans at the end of this particular tunnel.
Of immediate importance to the team; is this going to lead to a suspension? Doubtful, based on evidence seen so far. But certainly this should give players pause; what is the reputation of the clinics that I use? Tom Verducci’s immediate reaction is that this is a “severe” incident and notes that the new CBA allows suspensions even without positive tests.
The bigger scalp of course belongs to Alex Rodriguez, who the evidence seems to show bought HGH as recently as 2012. *sigh* He’s stated that he quit PEDs in 2003. The report makes him look really, really bad. For the slugger, at this point in his career and with the statements he’s already made on PED usage, to get caught again would be nothing short of amazing to me (he’s denied it, of course). The arrogance and stupidity of his getting caught again would be the absolute nail in his public relations coffin. At least the career HR record that Rodriguez once seems an absolute shoe-in to capture now seems safe; he likely misses most of his season with hip surgery (his age 37 year) and he’s averaged just 110 games and 17 homers the last two seasons. The likelihood of his hitting 116 more home runs at this point seems nil. I’m not going to go as far as some national writers though, who are saying they think Rodriguez’s career is over (David Schoenfield in particular).
Some pundits are already predicting that this will be the next Balco. I think i’ve got PED fatigue.