Biogenesis Scandal: Tony Bosch Charged by Feds UPDATED
Miami-Dade Police Department
One year after Anthony Bosch's roster of Major League Baseball clients -- including hometown star Alex Rodriguez -- received a record round of suspensions for buying performance enhancing drugs from Biogenesis, his Coral Gables clinic, Bosch himself is finally facing the music.
Federal agents have reportedly arrested Bosch and some of his associates this morning and charged them with illegally providing steroids.
Update: As of early Tuesday afternoon several others have been charged with illegal steroid distribution in relation to the scandal, including Lazer Collazo, a former UM pitching coach. Carlos Acevedo, Christopher Engroba, and Jorge "Oggi" Velazquez, Bosch's business associates, were also charged, as were A-Rod's cousin Yuri Sucart and Juan Carlos Nuñez, a former employee of ACES, a player agency.
Separately, Carlos Acevedo was charged with running a ring selling Molly, along with three other defendants, Giovanny Brenes, Jorge Canela,Jr., and Carlos Luis Ruiz.
Bosch not only provided PEDs to athletes like Rodriguez, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer told reporters at downtown's federal courthouse complex, he also copped to selling drugs to at least 18 minors, many of them high school athletes.
Bosch also operated in the Dominican Republic, where he worked with buscones -- agents who work with young prospects on the island -- to provide testosterone to young players there.
Ferrer described the charges against Bosch and his crew as a strong message that the feds take illegal PEDs seriously.
"Doing something like this just to get ahead and to be a star isn't just wrong, it's illegal," Ferrar said.
Bosch, an unlicensed doctor with a degree from a school in Belize City, ran a series of "anti-aging" clinics for years around Miami, selling steroids, HGH and testosterone to a range of ordinary Miami customers. On the side, he cultivated a secret side business developing elaborate doping protocols for MLB clients like A-Rod, Ryan Braun and Melky Cabrera.
In 2012, the business fell apart, largely over a $4,000 debt owed to a former customer named Porter Fischer. Fischer, upset over the unpaid investment, shared reams of documents from the clinic with Miami New Times, which published an investigative piece about Bosch's clinic in January 2013.
That piece sparked a frenzied response from MLB, which sent more than a dozen investigators to South Florida. MLB later acquired copies of Fischer's records -- some of which had been stolen from his car in a broad daylight robbery -- and eventually pressured Bosch to flip on his clients.
The result was a record 15 professional ballplayers suspended for their ties to Biogenesis, including a 211-game ban for Rodriguez. A-Rod challenged that ban, and an arbitration panel reduced it to a season-long suspension that he's currently serving.
Fischer says he's heartened to see that Bosch is finally facing charges over his clinic.
"I am encouraged to see law enforcement hand down indictments in this case after a yearlong investigation," says Fischer, who now operates a nonprofit that works to educate kids about the risks of steroid use. "The Porter Project believes the endangerment of our young athletes and the distribution of illegal steroids are very serious offenses that should not go lightly punished. Let's hope this serves as a deterrent to future peddlers."
Prosecutors say Bosch's arrest doesn't necessarily mean the end of the story for those connected to the clinic. Ferrer confirmed that Bosch has worked out a deal to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors against the other co-defendants. He faces up to 10 years over the charges.
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