One chapter of the Biogenesis scandal closed yesterday with MLB dropping the hammer on 13 players who bought performance-enhancing drugs at the Coral Gables clinic. But many other questions remain, including whether clinic owner Tony Bosch will ever face criminal charges and how he peddled illegal drugs without a medical license for so many years.
The following fact is sure to complicate that last question: Riptide has obtained a Florida Department of Health report showing that Bosch was investigated by the DOH two years ago for practicing medicine without a license. But he was let off scot-free without even being interviewed.
Florida's DOH opened the probe into Bosch, the records show, in the summer of 2011 after receiving an anonymous complaint that he was representing himself as a doctor.
"The subject tells patients he is a doctor, but he doesn't have a medical license or a driver's license," the complaint says.
A DOH investigator began looking into Bosch's clinic, then called BioKem, which was located in the same office space across South Dixie Highway from the University of Miami campus where he would later run Biogenesis.
The investigator conducted surveillance on the office four times between June and September but didn't spot Bosch on any of those occasions.
Then, on September 14, 2011, two investigators met with Carlos Acevedo, Bosch's partner in BioKem. (Acevedo is among those being sued by MLB in its ongoing civil case against Bosch and his business associates.)
Here's what the investigators wrote in an October 13 closeout memo:
Contact was made with Carlos Acevedo, who was cooperative and offered a tour of this small office. It should be noted that this appeared to be a business office and not a medical office. No medical equipment was observed by this investigator. Mr. Acevedo stated BioKem is a marketing business that generates referrals to medical offices for weight loss and anti-aging. When asked if any medical doctors were employed, Mr. Acevedo stated the only doctor employed is Anthony Bosch, who is a PhD and not a medical doctor. Mr. Acevedo stated that Anthony Bosch is rarely in the office and is normally working to develop new referrals. No evidence has been found that the subject, Anthony Bosch, is practicing medicine.
A few problems with that investigation should stand out immediately. First, based on his operation at Biogenesis, Bosch didn't need "medical equipment" to sell HGH, steroids, and testosterone to his clients. And second, investigators closed the case without bothering to talk to the subject of the case.
DOH has already been under scrutiny as the only agency to open a probe into Biogenesis in the wake of New Times' January investigation that revealed Bosch was selling drugs to major-league athletes as well as hundreds of other local clients.
Despite the full cooperation of New Times' source, Porter Fischer -- and a mountain of evidence that WSVN reports this morning included three witnesses testifying that Bosch had represented himself as a doctor and even injected them with drugs -- DOH abruptly closed the case with a citation and a $5,000 fine.