I've never understood why the average fan cares if players take steroids, surely they want their heros to be the best they can be.
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The moment Juan Garcia first walked into Biogenesis, he was sold.
He had visited the Coral Gables clinic on a friend's recommendation for the same reason so many others did: He'd recently hit his late 40s, felt his energy and libido sagging, and wanted to see what Bosch could do for him.
Bosch, his thick hair graying at the edges, strode in wearing a white lab coat with "Dr. Tony Bosch" embroidered over the pocket. Hanging on the wall was a dark-framed, ornately printed medical degree from the Belize City-based Central America Health Sciences University.
"He gave me this pill to take before I go to the gym and said, 'This is the stuff Lance Armstrong takes,'" recalls Garcia, who asked New Times not to use his real name but whose story is confirmed by Bosch's patient records. "I said, 'Whoa, this stuff isn't going to make my balls shrivel up, is it?' He said, 'No, it's fine -- don't worry about it.'"
It was the same pitch Bosch gave to many others at his clinic, despite not being licensed to practice medicine in Florida. Garcia was so taken with the place that he soon became an investor and part-owner. His story — along with interviews with more than a half-dozen other patients and ex-employees confirming key information such as the drugs they were prescribed and the business methods at Biogenesis — casts light on the clinic's questionable business.
Biogenesis's history really begins in 2009, when Bosch started a firm, called Colonial Services, based in Key Biscayne.
That same year, on May 7, Major League Baseball suspended L.A. Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez after he tested positive for HCG — a women's fertility drug often used at the end of a steroid cycle to restart testosterone production. Ramirez, who lives in Weston, issued a statement that a "personal doctor" had prescribed a medication he didn't realize would violate the drug code.
Reporters at ESPN quickly identified that doctor: Pedro Bosch, whose son, Anthony, was "well known in Latin American baseball circles," the network reported. "His relationships with players date at least from the earlier part of the decade, when he was seen attending parties with players and known to procure tickets to big-league ballparks, especially in Boston and New York," ESPN wrote.
The DEA was "probing" both Bosches for their role in getting Ramirez the medication, ESPN reported. MLB President Bob DuPuy also confirmed he was "aware" of the investigation and cooperating.
Tony Bosch never responded to the allegations, but in a letter to ESPN, Pedro lashed back two weeks later, claiming that Ramirez was never his patient, that he'd "never prescribed" anyone HCG, and that there was no federal investigation. No charges were ever filed.
(Pedro Bosch was a defendant in an unrelated federal civil case that same year. The U.S. attorney accused him, along with more than two dozen other doctors and a similar number of lab owners, of running a kickback scheme to inflate drug costs. The government withdrew the claims two months later.)
A year after the Ramirez affair, Tony Bosch rented out the space that would become Biogenesis on the ground floor of a white-paneled building on Stanford Drive at South Dixie Highway, just across from UM. A quiet canal burbles behind the building.
The clinic, which started under the name Biokem, built a client list from dozens to hundreds. By 2012, Bosch changed the name again, to Biogenesis. He also began writing new, glowing biographies of himself in his personal notebooks, presumably for use in the clinic's promotional materials.
"Dr. Tony Bosch is recognized as an international educator and world-class leader in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy," reads one description, which also praises him as a "pioneer in orthomolecular medicine" and calls him a "molecular biochemist."
New clients continued flowing in by referral. Jan, a Miami saleswoman who had recently turned 40, went to Bosch in early 2012 as she struggled to keep up her workout regimen while traveling for work. She wasn't charmed by the faux doctor.
"He seemed really edgy and talked to me for only a few minutes," says Jan, whose name New Times also agreed to change but whose story is confirmed by patient records. Bosch hooked her anyway. On the first visit, a nurse gave Jan a vitamin B12 shot, and she "felt like a million bucks," she says. "I couldn't believe how much energy I had. But there [were] diminishing returns. The next time, I asked for another one and it didn't have nearly the same effect. So I wanted to see what else I could get."
Within a month, Bosch had sold her an East German Olympics-worthy regimen: daily shots of B12 mixed with Winstrol, an anabolic steroid; furosemide, an industrial-strength diuretic that forces the body to shed water weight; and regular doses of Anavar, a popular and potent anabolic steroid.
Jan says she was initially freaked out by the regimen — especially the B12/Winstrol mix, which she had to inject straight into her stomach. But she couldn't deny the results. "I felt so good. It was addictive," she says. "Within a month, my arms were hard as a rock, my shoulders were built up — and not in a masculine way. I just felt really good."
I've never understood why the average fan cares if players take steroids, surely they want their heros to be the best they can be.
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Shaun’s book is really good. I learned a lot from that book. My favourite topic is about performance-enhancing drugs because I am helping my friend who is a tri athlete.
This is just one of the reasons I am so turned off by professional sports. This is something that if not addressed will possibly do major damage too collage and professional sports and the big money involved. Either it's a free for all and you can use whatever substance you want to put into your body, or it is honest and fair, and everybody plays by the rules? You can't have your cake and eat it too.
What I find hard to believe is that the DEA did not obtain enough evidence to prosecute Tony Bosch for criminal conspiracy, or at the very leas;t practicing medicine without a licence. Secret nicknames and codes to conceal his activities and other measures should have thrown up plenty of red flags. I believe this is the same DEA that desires to protect us from the dangerous marijuana that they claim has no medical value. There are a lot of influential and powerful people involved in this case whom would prefer that it would just go away. Many of these same people represent the Cuban American community who are careful to project a vision of success and achievement, and may resent a pillar of the community like Dr. Bosch having his name and reputation being dragged through the mud.
Great job New Times, this is a scoop worthy of comparison to "The New York Times" and their coverage of "Watergate" in the 1970's. This story has all the criteria that should deserve a Pulitzer. prize. Examples are: Big name professional sports players, high profile and connected movers and shakers, pharmaceutical giants, doctors and lawyers, and even the DEA. Some of the unfortunate victims are the athletes who respect their bodies and play by the rules, advertisers who are probably not aware of the cheating, and of course the kids who look up too these athletes. This is a black eye for almost all sports and casts a shadow of suspicion on all players. I am reminded of the television series "The Wonder Years" when Kevin Arnold and his father attend a professional baseball game to relive Kevin's father's nostalgia for the game. When Kevin approached a ballplayer for his autograph and the ballplayer asked for a large donation to sign the baseball, that is when Kevin's father knew the game had changed. Perhaps it is being naive, but baseball in particular has always been about mom, apple pie, and clean cut sportsmen who got the job done based on their individual abilities,, and not some formula cooked up in a laboratory..
I Dont understand why everyone is soo upset about these situations like they got screwed out a world series ring or somethin', bottom line is PED's cant make u hit a 95 mph fastball regardless how long u take 'em. These athletes have skills U and I will never possess and if they want to take somethin' to make them heal faster what's it to U? All these people talkin' about it sets a bad example for the kids, yada yada yada, sound stupid cuz guarantee U go ask kids if they kno what steroids are or if they kno how to get them they wouldn't. Most athletes don't start using steroids till college if not later and by then they're already adults and can make their own choices. Sooo,its really not hurtin' nobody but the user and these dorks who never made its feelings. BOOHOO!!!
These athletes have a lot to lose by not staying in peak condition. I'm only a weekend warrior but I still want to compete as well as I can. I use Deer Antler Stax by Velox Labs and it's totally helped me not only recover faster but just feel younger in general.
The penalties for players as well as the doctors that prescribe the drugs need to be stripped of wins, licenses, and any other accolades they have so-called earned. They should not be felt sorry for. If these players feel so insecure about their own abilities, they have to take drugs. What messege are they sending and example setting are they putting out to our children?
Tim Elfrink, you got the Miami NT a few shout-outs on SportsCenter tonight. Damn good journalism if you ask me (assuming A-Rod's assertion that the docs are all bunk is not true). Score a big one for the New Times!
It's obvious the punishment MLB'ers potentially face today isn't inhibiting them from juicing. It's time to scare the players into getting clean. Forget this weak 3 Strikes (50 games, 100 games, lifetime ban) you're out nonsense. Time to go get tough, time to go with 2 strikes! 1st strike you're gone 2 years. 2nd strike you're gone for good. Somebody please tell me if the players faced this kind of punishment they wouldn't clean up quicker than Ichiro can get down a 1st base line? Come on "Dud" Selig grow a pair of balls and get tough on the dopers!
Here's a hard fact for you,, 95% of all NFL players use HGH or TEST during a season. The only way RG3 is coming back next year after such major surgery is via the use of HGH to heal faster.
@RHReese Wow! Your attitude is a major problem with many people today, not just athletes! If we were to agree with you on this matter, that would mean there would be relatively no safety checks required which would push even wider open the illegal and UNSAFE use of virtually any drug simply because someone claims they "need" whatever the latest popular substance is! That behavior KILLS people - including some who are completely unaware of the inherent risks they are taking - all because some really smart con-artist is able to convince people that the "snake oil" he's selling is "safe" (because he says so)!
The least of my concerns is that so-called "superstars" are nothing but junkies who have found a way to fool others (especially innocent children who look up to them and seek to emulate them)! They're CHEATERS who have found a way to STEAL what they're not capable of doing on their own. I'd like to think that those who "are here to entertain us" are also trustworthy and doing what they do FAIRLY! Otherwise, they're simply PATHETIC LOSERS!
RHReese, what an ass you are....saying that these athletes are here just to entertain.....I guess you don't have kids that play sport and want to some day make it to the big leagues. These athletes such as Bond, Clements and Rodriguez are an insult to the sport...With their deeds they have put records out of reach for any law abidding athlete to strive for. I call entertainment athletes playing fair and hard and to see them sweat the game until they give in to time. That way I can tell my son that he might have a chance to become a good or even great player playing the game right.
You know what? Who cares ? The medical field with nurses and doctors are the ones that should be tested for drugs. These are just athletes trying to gain an edge not to influence kids . They aren't hurting anyone but themselves. You want to teach these children about these drugs? Start at home with the parents. Athletes are here to entertain us not to teach us right from wrong.
I personally don't have a problem with HGH or TEST or other performance enhancing drugs in any sports. Id much rather see a guy bash the ball out of the park. In fact whats the big deal about Steroids?.. They are legal in most places on the planet except the US and they shamed other countries like Canada and Mexico into blacklisting them. You can not stop performance enhancements,, the next generation science is already here its called Gene Dopping and you positively CAN NOT detect it. So stop with all the crying foul ball..All you've done is create another black market. We will find what we want one way or another..
yep, take em all down!!!! The athletes have misled us once again. How can i trust these people to raise my kids and instill values? I thank the media too, for taking the time to show highlights and psoting stats on how great these athletes are and then even better, how they say they were bamboozled finding out that the same athletes were enhancing their performance. It is time for all of to band together and fight this injustice, for my kids sake and yours as well. How can we move on as a society when all of this is determines how our kids are raised? This has changed the way i live day to day!! lets spend millions of dollars trying to prove that someone lied about taking a PEDs. that is what is important to our society. Live on nay-sayers of evil, long live justice.
Ok, so now have we seen enough of A-rod , more like HGH -rod!!!! now. Its time to clean this mess up some and send a message to the kids coming up, take em your out! He should be tossed with the rest and the ones like Bonds and others should never be allowed to get into the Hall!! They gave up that right the minute they stuck the needle in down deep or popped the pill, one hit or one catch more because of the drug was cheating and has no place. If any of these guys get into the Hall before Pete Rose, then Baseball is a shamble !!! he cheated as a coach, not a player and it wasnt stat involved anyways. Toss em All!!!
Please cease from associating Mekly Cabrera's name with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants didn't eve offer him a contract after the season. He's a Toronto Blue Jay.
So now those of us who would like to live longer and stay healthy are going to be denied our right to do so in order to keep professional athletes 'clean'. If that is the case, then damn the US government into Hell along with every professional athelete.
Sports Figures are sure not setting any great Examples for our Youth with respect to Truth, Honesty and Ethical Behavior as the American Way! NO SIR, THEY CERTAINLY ARE NOT! What are our Youths supposed to believe as to how they should behave in competitive situations? Should they adopt the "Win at any Cost" philosophy? Where Lying, Cheating, Unethical Behavior and Blatant Dishonesty are acceptable in order if they give them an edge at Winning or Profiting!
Maybe it would be a great idea to give everyone in Washington D.C some PEDs. And by everyone I mean everyone. From the top to the bottom. We may ge something done about jobs and the economy.
i get why names were blacked out, and great job and getting story but do think other names shouldnt b blacked out with the explanation of them being only in there once. imo leave yourselves to hiding someone or something
Oops*******another scandal.....so much CORRUPTION AND COVER UP......I guess the DEVIL is everywhere*****
GREAT STORY. GREAT FOLLOW UP. Way to get the scoop on every other newspaper and media outlet there is! Great work guys!
we realize that Armstrong could not have gotten away with it, and doped for so long without assistance from those in the Olympic community. I imagine we will find more and more cases of these so called professional sports figure doping, should we start looking for it while they are in college?
What about Tiger Woods' doping? Clearly, the PGA and Nike have covered it up!
See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/is-redemption-possible-for-tiger-woods/#comment-2457 (see also the article itself)
@tulyfajardo He Cant.. period.. grow up and smell reality. If your kid wants to be an professional athlete and succeed , he will have to use PED or Gene Dopping to be competitive.
@jeff.winch And it WILL kill you!
why should they raise YOUR KIDS isnt that YOUR job ????? that is the problem with you people you whant others to do your job as a parent wtf raise your own dam kids!!!!
@swedefinn101 HA! So the SF Giants are now distancing themselves from players connected to steroids? That is rich...
@wootendw riiiiiight.... Me thinks you're a little off-topic.
@texasjustice Gotta do a better job confiscating them first.
@quilter1931Well if you think about it, his face is his livelihood, his allure... his twinkle! Everything he has he owes to that face.
@thinkster the article says nothing about the strength and conditioning coach "funneling HGH and steroids to the UM baseball program" that's a big stretch to make if you actually read the article. Here's a blog post that explains that http://www.stateoftheu.com/2013/1/29/3928436/miami-hurricanes-baseball-steroids-scandal
@logosgnosis @wootendw In case you can't figure it out, logosgnosis, the author's purpose in writing this article is to arouse anger towards companies such as Biogenesis for 'helping' athletes perform better even though the medications they sell do, in fact, help overcome the effects of aging. The fact is that Human Growth Hormone is healthy if taken in moderate doses and is especially good for healing injuries among older people such as myself. I happen to like to run twice a week, but a pulled hamstring will keep me with my 60+ year old body from doing so for 6 months. A little growth hormone could fix it in about 6 weeks. But in order to keep professional athletes 'clean', I am unable to obtain HGH.
@brodymlogan It was only a question. Let the TRUTH be FULLY determined. Right now, it sure does look like the NCAA has ALOT of work to do.
@jeff.winch @krussrn also probably the reason tons of NFL QB's have children born with all sorts of health issues. It doesn't only kill you but it's consequences are also inherited by your offspring (yes, full horizontal gene transfer).