A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports' Biggest Names

Page 3 of 8

"I never got a dime back," says Lanza, who repaid the bank herself. "It was a bad, bad experience. I don't think they were too remorseful about it."

Then, in 1992, soon after the couple's second child was born, Tiki filed for divorce. That same year, their Coral Gables home went into foreclosure with more than $184,000 unpaid on the mortgage.

Bosch eventually sold the house to repay the bank, but his wife had the same experience as Lanza in trying to get her ex-husband to pay his debts.

Two and half years after the divorce, Tiki sued for $17,250 in unpaid child support. A judge ordered $496 withheld weekly from Bosch, who was then working as a technician for DMG Health Care, a company owned by his brother, Ashley. Two years after that, his deadbeat bill topped $20,000.

In the meantime, Bosch remarried in 1997 to Aliette Baro, a health and fitness buff. They moved into a condo on Key Biscayne and soon had two kids.

But that marriage ended the same as his first. Aliette filed for divorce from Bosch in 2007 and within months had filed the first of many lawsuits for unpaid child support. By 2009, those debts had ballooned to more than $32,000.

As the bills piled up and legal notices flooded his mailbox, the would-be entrepreneur formulated a plan that could solve all of his financial problems and finally put him on equal terms with his dad in the medical world.

It began with a trip to Belize and ended with a foothold in America's hottest new industry.

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.)

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink