When it comes to alleged links to performance enhancing drugs, today’s MLB players are considered by most to be guilty until proven innocent. Perhaps it’s time we revisited that presumption.
If the most recent report by Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com proves accurate, Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez has been vindicated.
Speculation surrounded Gonzalez after it was discovered that his name – along with Melky Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Ryan Braun, Francisco Cervilli and Yasmani Grandal – was listed in documents from the Biogenesis Clinic of America clinic run by Anthony Bosch. It has been reported that some of the documents from the South Florida clinic link major league players to performance enhancing drugs, though the exact nature of the documents and the meaning of the lists are still under investigation. Major League Baseball is currently investigating Bosch’s connections to major league players.
Fish and Quinn cite two sources familiar with Bosch’s operation in stating that Gonzalez did not receive any banned substances from the Biogenesis clinic. The information was verified by a copy of a computer printout of Bosch’s clients obtained by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”. The document shows Gonzalez (under the code name “Gladiator”) as having received $1,000 worth of substances from the clinic. The notes identify the substances as glutathione, intramuscular shots, and amino acids – none of which are banned substances under Major League Baseball’s drug policy.
Gonzalez was spectacular as a starter for Washington last season. The right hander went 21-8, boasted a 2.89 ERA and struck out 207 batters while helping lead the Nationals to the best record in baseball. The fact that Gonzalez had the best season of his career a year ago made it all to easy to believe that it might have been due in part to the use of performance enhancing drugs. If ESPN’s report holds up, we all owe Gonzalez an apology for our assumptions.
Thus far, Gonzalez is the only player identified in Biogenesis documents to have been cleared of any wrongdoing. The ESPN report found more names in Biogenesis documents, adding 5 additional names to the PED suspect list as well: Everth Cabrera, Jordan Norberto, Fernando Martinez, Fautino De Los Santos and Cesar Puello.
We will keep you posted on the latest developments of this story.