NEW YORK -- - Major League Baseball is investigating whether players, including Alex Rodriguez, purchased human growth hormone as recently as last year from a Miami health clinic, the league said in a statement Tuesday.
The league statement was issued in response to a report published in the Miami New Times, which cites files obtained from a former employee of Biogenesis, a now-closed South Florida clinic, that show Rodriguez was one of several athletes to purchase HGH and other substances.
"We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances. ... Through our Department of Investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in South Florida," MLB's statement said.
Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger currently recovering from hip surgery, has admitted using steroids from 2001-03 but insisted he stopped after that. Rodriguez issued a statement denying having a link to Anthony Bosch, the owner of the South Florida Clinic.
"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true," the statement read. "Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story -- at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez -- are not legitimate.”
Other players named by the New Times as appearing in the records at Biogenesis include Melky Cabrera, Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon and Nelson Cruz. Cabrera, the All-Star game MVP for the San Francisco Giants last season, was suspended 50 games in August for failing a drug test. The outfielder has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent.
Colon, a pitcher for the Oakland A's, was also suspended 50 games in August.
Gonzalez, who went 21-8 for the Washington Nationals last season, and Cruz, who hit 24 home runs for the Texas Rangers, had not previously been linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
The Rangers said in a statement that after being contacted by the New Times late last week, they notified Major League Baseball. The club said it had no further comment.
Gonzalez posted on his Twitter feed: "I've never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will, I've never met or spoken with tony Bosch or used any substance."
The report said that Bosch's notes list the players' names and the substances they received, including human growth hormone and steroids. Several unidentified employees and clients confirmed to the publication that the clinic distributed the substances, the paper said. The employees said that Bosch bragged of supplying drugs to professionalthletes but they never saw the sports stars in the office.
Any player found by MLB to use banned, performance-enhancing substances, is subject to suspension.
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