In a clip posted for his 3.3 million Instagram followers this past March 28, Oakland Raiders star Antonio Brown stands in a weight room at Hollywood Hills High School while grasping a comically large medicine ball. The song “Baby Birkin” by the rapper Gunna reverberates through the gym, painted various shades of blue and orange. It’s spring break, and the high school is virtually empty save for Brown and his crew. Drenched with sweat, the NFL All-Pro receiver positions his legs shoulder-width apart, cradles the ball below his waist, and heaves it over his head behind him to his workout partner and cousin, former New England Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins. The five-foot-ten Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler, chucks the ball so hard it flies over Thompkins’ head and crashes into a rack of weights.
The clip seems unremarkable — unless you know who’s lurking in the background. As the two Miami-bred athletes trade passes, a bulky man in a blue polo shirt leans on a squat rack nearby while nonchalantly scrolling on a cell phone.
It’s certainly odd that Brown, a future hall-of-famer who recently signed with the Raiders after eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, would be sharing workout space with the man, a Miamian named Michael Junco. That’s because Junco works as a health coach for a testosterone-dispensing anti-aging clinic called Nuceria, which is overseen by Dr. Pedro Bosch, who was previously listed as the medical director for the infamous Coral Gables clinic Biogenesis.
Bosch, you might recall, was tied up in a sports-doping scandal that resulted in the suspension of 13 Major League Baseball players — among the most since the 1919 Black Sox cheating scandal — and helped end the careers of stars Manny Ramirez, Ryan Braun, and Alex Rodriguez. (Pedro Bosch was listed as Biogenesis’ medical director, but he has long denied involvement with pro athletes.)
In another clip of the same workout, Brown even throws the medicine ball back-and-forth with the interloper. “Come on, Mike, let me throw you a pass,” Brown says before chucking the ball at Junco’s chest.
According to state records, Nuceria was established by Pedro’s son and Biogenesis’ founder, admitted steroid dealer Tony Bosch. One of the two clips was posted on Nuceria’s Instagram page.
“Big shout out to my boy @ab, the G.O.A.T. Antonio Brown,” the person running Nuceria’s account wrote online. “Great workout today, keep putting in that hard work brother!”
Through spokesperson Robert Santini, Brown denied knowing Junco or why he was present at the workout. The receiver has no relationship with Nuceria, Pedro Bosch, or Tony Bosch, Santini said. He explained that Junco, who lives about a 30-minute drive from Hollywood High, had simply shown up on his own.
“There is no relationship, no partnership at all,” Santini said. “This was someone else who was just working out in that same gym as him. He was just working out at the high school.” Santini later suggested that Junco — who was wearing blue jeans and a polo shirt, not workout gear, in the clip — possibly entered the closed gym because he’d heard about Brown’s workout from someone at the school.
There is no indication Brown violated the law or National Football League rules, or that the Liberty City native received any advice or treatment from Junco or Pedro Bosch. Brown has also never failed a drug test. (The NFL and the Oakland Raiders did not respond to messages from New Times.)
But during a monthlong investigation, New Times confirmed that Tony Bosch, now age 55, founded Nuceria with two business partners — Junco and a woman named Samantha Fonte — after serving time in federal prison for conspiring to deal illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Today, Nuceria, which occupies an unassuming storefront in a Doral strip mall, dispenses testosterone, human-growth-hormone peptides, and some of the other substances that got Tony Bosch in trouble during the Biogenesis affair.
Pedro Bosch last week confirmed his leadership role at the clinic. “I am the medical director of Nuceria Health,” the 81-year-old doctor told New Times by phone. He declined to speak further without a lawyer present and claimed he could not produce one before this story’s final deadline.
He also declined to state whether he had treated Antonio Brown. “I am not supposed to give out any information because of HIPAA,” the federal medical-privacy act, Bosch said.
Tony Bosch, meanwhile, did not respond to numerous calls and texts to his cell phone.
Junco did not respond to multiple calls and text messages sent to the number on his business card. Nor did he and other Nuceria representatives answer emails. A reporter visited the facility but was told no one was available to speak. And no one responded to a business card left at the front desk.
Indeed, there is no allegation that Pedro Bosch or the current operators of Nuceria have broken any laws. The clinic says it prescribes testosterone or human-growth-hormone-generating drugs according to medical guidelines, which require that doctors diagnose a valid medical condition.
But the news raises significant questions. For one, how did one of the most famous football players in America — a man who nearly broke the NFL’s single-season receiving-yardage record in 2015 — wind up working out alongside a rep from an unknown Miami anti-aging clinic that happens to be run by a doctor repeatedly tied to juiced-up pro athletes?
Did the younger Bosch violate the conditions of his probation, which prohibits him from working in the health-care field — including the anti-aging business — until October 2019?
More important, how was a clinic with such strong connections to Biogenesis allowed to open in the first place? And why haven’t Florida lawmakers, who were lambasted nationally after the original scandal, enacted virtually any new laws reforming the state’s medical-licensing and disciplinary regulations since the scandal broke in 2013?
Porter Fischer, a former Biogenesis client who eventually turned on Tony Bosch, tells New Times that state lawmakers should be ashamed of the current lack of oversight in Florida. Fischer now runs the nonprofit Porter Project, which warns teens about the dangers of steroid use.
“The Florida Department of Health, the U.S. Department of Justice, Miami-Dade PD, the Miami-Dade State Attorney, the Governor’s Office, the Department of Corrections, the legal system, and especially Major League Baseball — all should be embarrassed and ashamed,” Fischer said via email. “[They’re] part of the problem.”
In 2013, Tony Bosch appeared on ESPN as he stood outside Monty’s Raw Bar in Coconut Grove. Sweaty, unkempt, and bewildered-looking, he lied through his teeth, saying he knew nothing about steroids or professional baseball players.
“I have been accused, tried, and convicted in the media,” Bosch mumbled to ESPN journalist Pedro Gomez. “And so I think I have been falsely accused throughout the media. I’ve done nothing wrong.”
But now that Bosch is out of prison, he’s trying to be more open with the media. He has kicked cocaine. He cracks self-deprecating one-liners about the crimes he committed. His hair, which previously swirled around his head in an infamous 2013 mug shot, has grown long and is swept behind his ears. His skin has a healthy glow. In a recent interview with ESPN host and Miamian Dan Le Batard, Bosch said he’s grateful for his time in prison, if only because it helped him quit drugs.
Bosch is also something of a movie star. In 2018, Miami filmmakers Billy Corben, Alfred Spellman, and David Cypkin debuted Screwball, a comedy-documentary recounting the Biogenesis affair. The film holds a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won the Audience Award for Best Picture at the 2019 Miami Film Festival.
On Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions podcast earlier this month during a rare post-prison interview, the chastened former clinic owner outlined why he decided to speak up. This “was the first time that I’m at least able to tell my side of the story,” Bosch said. “After you see the film, then you can make your own conclusions. You may like me, you may not like me, but at least the truth is there.”
Tony’s father, Pedro Publio Bosch, was born in 1937 in Jatibonico, a small town smack in the center of Cuba. (Pedro is a first cousin of the notorious anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch.) He and his wife Stella fled to Miami from Castro’s Cuba in 1961. Their son, Anthony Publio “Tony” Bosch, was born in 1963.
In 1970, Pedro Bosch earned an emergency-room residency at Miami’s North Shore Medical Center and moved the family to Coral Gables. The baseball-obsessed Tony enrolled in Christopher Columbus High School in 1979. After graduating, Tony tried and failed to go into medicine but later started his anti-aging business by finding clients at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne hotel bar. He had a knack for juicing. Athletes soon came calling.
Most members of the public first heard Bosch’s name in 2009, when MLB slugger Manny Ramirez tested positive for hCG, a female fertility drug commonly used by male athletes to rebalance their hormones after steroid cycles. In Screwball, Bosch admits he supplied Ramirez with steroids and even says he used to sleep in hotel rooms with the eccentric slugger, who often asked the steroid dealer to tell him bedtime stories.
Soon, though, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration opened an investigation into both Tony Bosch and his father, since the elder Bosch had allegedly signed off on Ramirez’s prescriptions. But neither was ultimately charged with wrongdoing.
In 2009, Pedro Bosch was sued in federal court in an unrelated False Claims Act case. The Cuban-born doctor, along with roughly 40 other MDs and additional medical clinics, was allegedly caught taking illegal kickbacks from medical-testing labs across Florida. But Pedro Bosch steadfastly denied the claims, and the suit was voluntarily dismissed in 2012.
“Many years ago, my client alleged false claims — serious misconduct,” Jonathan Kroner, a Miami Beach lawyer who initially filed the civil case, told New Times via email. “Dr. Bosch’s career since then suggests lessons not learned. Or worse, and more likely: wrong lessons learned.”
As that case played out, another medical business overseen by Pedro Bosch ran into legal issues. In 2010, the federal government revoked the Medicare billing privileges of a South Florida rehabilitation facility called CompRehab Wellness Services. Investigators found, among other things, that the facility was “nonoperational,” it had been run by a woman without proper licenses, and the only real doctor overseeing it — Pedro Bosch — showed up “once per month to sign documents.”
Federal Administrative Law Judge Joseph Grow was skeptical about even that amount of oversight. “I have examined Dr. Bosch’s affidavit and find that it is devoid of any mention of the active functions and responsibilities required by a facility Physician,” Grow wrote in 2011. “In fact, it is questionable whether Dr. Bosch visited the facility even once a month.”
(CompRehab appealed the ruling. In 2013, U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz sided with the feds and closed the case. The facility no longer exists. But the State of Florida once again took no action against the elder Bosch.)
Since then, the doctor has claimed he couldn’t work during some of this period. In 2016, Pedro Bosch sued his insurance company, Northwestern Mutual, after it allegedly refused to accept his disability claim. The suit alleged chronic hip pain had left him “totally disabled” and “unable to perform any of the functions of his medical practice” from June 2011 to June 2012, after he underwent surgery. The case was settled out of court.
Tony Bosch, meanwhile, started Biogenesis, with his father as medical director. The most famous client was New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, who agreed to pay Biogenesis $12,000 per month for steroids and other banned substances.
“It was crazy, and I have to be honest with you: It was fun,” Bosch, cackling, told Le Batard this month. “The players were happy; they were performing. And I was getting to do what I wanted to do with the passion I had.”
But Tony soon began to party. He developed a $6,000-per-month cocaine habit. As his drug bill ran up, money ran out — so he borrowed $4,000 from bodybuilder Porter Fischer. Though Bosch claims the cash was a donation, Fischer demanded repayment. Eventually, Fischer got fed up, swiped Biogenesis’ medical records, and leaked them to New Times.
The stolen documents showed Bosch had been illegally supplying performance-enhancing drugs to Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera, and Bartolo Colon, as well as college ballplayers, Miami-area police officers, and, most troubling, underage athletes.
“The fact is, the highest-paid baseball player of all time, his career was ended over a $4,000 debt between a cocaine-addicted fake doctor and his fake-tan-addicted steroid patient,” Corben explained to Le Batard earlier this month.
But the State of Florida declined to take action against Bosch, save for a $3,000 fine. Lead Department of Health investigator Jerome Hill, who now works for another Florida agency, claims Major League Baseball obstructed the state’s probe, while administrators pushed him to close his investigation without going after Biogenesis or Pedro Bosch.
But the federal government ultimately charged Tony Bosch with conspiring to distribute testosterone. In 2014, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in federal prison. “I truly believe that when I got those 48 months, that’s when I was able to breathe a sigh of relief,” Bosch told Le Batard. “That’s how crazy and out-of-control my life was.” His sentence was later reduced to 20 months, including time in a Miami halfway house.
At the end of Screwball, subtitles appear onscreen. “After his release from prison in 2016, Tony Bosch planned to open a ‘supplement’ business across the street from Marlins Park and teach kids about nutrition,” one of the film’s final title cards reads. “It didn’t happen.”
But something did, in fact, come of Bosch’s post-prison plans: a new anti-aging clinic overseen by his father.
Nuceria Health occupies a space in a drab, decades-old strip mall on NW 25th Street at 75th Avenue in Doral, west of Miami International Airport. To the left of the clinic’s sign, an LED billboard announces a $50 special for vitamin B12 shots. A Subway sandwich shop is located next door. Below Nuceria’s logo on the main blue-and-green sign is the clinic’s slogan: “Addicted to Life.”
Inside, the lobby’s walls are mostly painted stark white. Behind the front desk, bubbles float through an aquarium mounted in the wall. A calming floral scent permeates the room. A woman clutching a large purse and a pair of sunglasses emerges from a back room with gauze wrapped around her upper left arm, presumably from an IV session.
A brochure on the front desk announces prices for Nuceria’s services. Cycles of testosterone, hCG, and anastrozole — a breast cancer drug commonly used by male athletes to cut estrogen levels — cost $199 per month. For $299, Nuceria also offers HGH peptides — drugs that push the body to produce more growth hormone — including the substances sermorelin, GHRP-6, GHRP-2, and ipamorelin. Chemical IVs run from $30 to $200, Botox costs $13 per dose, and 10-dose supplies of Viagra, Cialis, or the “love hormone” oxytocin go for $140.
To the immediate right of the front door, a sign on the wall reads, “Our medical director is Pedro P. Bosch, MD.”
State corporation records show Tony Bosch filed registration documents for a company called Nuceria Inc. on September 16, 2014 — exactly one month before he pleaded guilty to federal charges. Julio Ayala, one of Bosch’s lawyers in the Biogenesis case (who was paid by Major League Baseball to defend Bosch), was listed as the registered agent.
Tony Bosch originally intended Nuceria to be a GNC-style vitamin shop, says Corben, Screwball’s director, who spoke with Bosch about his future during filming. But that plan fell through once Bosch went to jail. The Florida Division of Corporations ultimately dissolved the first version of Nuceria after Bosch failed to file annual reports while he was behind bars.
“He had started some nutrition company before he went to prison, and he attempted to revive it after he got out of prison,” Corben says. “I didn’t get into a lot, but it was supposed to be a supplement shop and he was going to open it in a space across from Marlins Park.”
But by mid-2016, Bosch’s sentence had been reduced, and he had moved from a federal penitentiary to a Miami halfway house, where he slept at night while working a data-entry job for a local cell-phone store during the day. On October 4, someone in Bosch’s camp filed paperwork to create Nuceria once again. This time, Bosch listed himself as CEO, Junco as president, and Samantha Fonte as VP. (It’s unclear how Bosch met his new partners.) Three days later, Bosch was released from federal custody for good.
At that point, documents show the company, then called Nuceria Nutrition Inc., was headquartered in an office tower at NE 47th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. But that location didn’t last. In December 2016, paperwork was filed for another company, Nuceria Nutrition LLC. This time, Bosch, Junco, Fonte, and a man named Frank Martinez were listed as co-managers. The company found its current home on NW 25th Street in Doral.
Bosch ultimately filed paperwork removing his name from the company June 28, 2017. In the document, he claimed he hadn’t been involved for 13 months.
Federal sentencing documents state he was not allowed to “own, operate, act as a consultant, be employed in, or participate in any manner in any related concern during the period of” his probation, which does not end until later this year. The documents add that Bosch “shall not be employed in the health-care field.”
It’s unclear whether Bosch intended Nuceria to be an anti-aging clinic. He told Corben that after the plan for the supplement store failed, he tried to turn Nuceria into a meal-delivery service. That plan also failed. Instead, Fonte and Junco — without Bosch — created their own, independent company at the same address called Nuceria Health Inc. on July 5, 2017. That company is still active today.
“My understanding, based on my interviews with [Tony Bosch], is that he now works an office job in the real-estate business,” Corben says. “His probation officer drops into his workplace and gives him random drug tests. I understand that, so far, he’s clean and hasn’t violated the conditions of his probation.”
It is unclear exactly when Pedro Bosch became Nuceria’s medical director, but the company’s website says the doctor’s name was added to the staff web page March 9, 2016 — months before Tony Bosch says he left the company. (Bosch was still technically in federal custody at the time.) Pedro Bosch’s name is also listed on medical-consent forms on the Nuceria website. Those forms include an option for parents who want Dr. Bosch to treat their underage children.
“All I can say is WOW!!,” a Yelp reviewer wrote in September 2018. “What a great experience I’ve had at Nuceria. The staff there were incredible. Dr. Bosch did my assessment for my Protocol[.]”
Despite Pedro Bosch’s connection to Biogenesis, state records list no disciplinary actions or public complaints against him. (In Florida, complaints against doctors are made public only if they are sustained after a state investigation.)
Florida remains a supremely lax state for problem doctors. In 2013, New Times published an investigation showing the state barely regulates the anti-aging industry. The investigation found that, from 2009 to 2013, the state Department of Health had referred 203 cases of unlicensed anti-aging practitioners to law enforcement but that only four had been convicted. Multiple clinics were being run by felons after budget cuts and mismanagement had left the department understaffed and without access to vital investigative tools, and that “perhaps most significant, clinics busted in the past for selling drugs to athletes have quickly and quietly reopened.”
In 2014, Eleanor Sobel, a state senator from Hollywood, filed the Health Care Clinic Act, a bill that would have placed tougher restrictions on cash-only health clinics operating with unlicensed or improperly licensed doctors. But her fellow lawmakers showed no interest. The bill died in committee. It was again ignored in 2015 and 2016. Sobel then left the Florida Senate due to term limits.
Instead, anti-aging clinics have continued to proliferate while adding new, dubious medical fads to their repertoires such as intravenous vitamin injections, which Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, in 2016 called “the latest snake-oil off the huckster’s cart.”
There’s no evidence the NFL's Antonio Brown has ever visited any anti-aging clinic, including Nuceria. Indeed, his representatives said they were livid when they learned of the medicine-ball-tossing video posted on Nuceria’s official Instagram page.
“I don’t want him to be associated with anything of this nature,” Brown’s spokesperson Santini said. “The post felt like when you try to use someone else’s name when you’re looking to generate clout or looking to generate some type of credibility. But there’s no association.”
Santini added that his team contacted Nuceria and demanded the video be removed. It vanished from the internet April 15.
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