June 4, 2013 at 6:14 PM
News broke within the last hour or so, courtesy of ESPN, that Major League Baseball is preparing to impose suspensions on 20 players linked to possible performance enhancing drug use via connections to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in the Miami area. One of those 20 players is Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, now awaiting knee surgery tomorrow morning after a demotion to Class AAA.
As for how long a Montero suspension would be, if indeed there is one coming, I have no idea. The report stated that some bigger names like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun might be facing suspensions as high as 100 games because MLB is prepared to consider them two-time offenders.
According to the report, MLB has obtained the co-operation of Tony Bosch, the former head of Biogenesis, in its investigation. Any suspension for two-time PED offenses would come from MLB considering the players’ connection to Bosch as one offense and then their prior statements of not knowing him as a second offense intended to mislead investigators.
No idea where Montero falls in all that. I know that when I approached him the day his name was first linked to the clinic, he denied knowing Bosch or having any connection to him.
So, if I was an investigator for MLB, that might constitute two “offenses” right there. But I’m not an MLB investigator and I have no idea what Montero has told them or whether he was even approached in the probe.
Montero also told me that his younger brother, also named Jesus and a catcher in the Cardinals’ system, had no idea who Bosch was and zero connection to him. I think that by now, several months in, we can assume this isn’t a case of mistaken identity and that it’s the Mariners’ version of Jesus Montero that MLB is looking into.
The Mariners have yet to release any statement on today’s news.
Randy Adamack, the team’s vice-president (communications), told me he was still gathering information from team officials and would not know until later whether any official comment would be issued.
February 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Mariners catcher Jesus Montero met with the media for the first time today and was asked about last week’s story that reported his name was on documents belonging to the now-defunct Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. The clinic has been linked to several big-name big leaguers, including Alex Rodriguez, and was said to be a supply depot for performance enhancing drugs.
Montero’s name was said to have appeared in clinic documents. But there was no direct link mentioned between Montero and PEDs.
You know that I was down here and asked Montero about this six days ago, but this was the first time for the rest of the Seattle media to ask Montero about it and he obliged.
He was asked what the past week has been like for him.
“It’s been fine for me,” he said. “I don’t really know what’s going on. I didn’t have anything to do with those people. I know my agent’s been handling everything. I don’t know anything about it. I just talked to my family, I told them ‘It’s nothing, don’t worry about.’
“We’re happy. I’m just doing my job over here trying to be ready for spring training and be ready for the season. What can I say? It surprised me too.”
I asked Montero about his brother, also named Jesus and a catcher in the Cardinals organization. Is it possible it was his brother’s name seen on documents and not his?
“No, we don’t have anything to do with that clinic,” he said.
February 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Mariners catcher Jesus Montero is in Arizona working out with teammates in preparation for the start of spring training next week. I caught up with him this morning as he was changing after his workout and asked him point blank how his name ended up in documents belonging to the South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis.
“What can I tell you? I have no idea,” Montero said. “Like I said, I have no clue what happened. I feel like I’m caught in the middle of something and I don’t know why.”
Montero said he has never been a client of the clinic, or of owner Anthony Bosch.
“I don’t even know who he is,” he said. “I’ve never heard of him.”
Until this morning, that is.
February 6, 2013 at 7:22 AM
Obviously, this will need some follow-up. But a report out this morning in the New York Daily News lists Mariners catcher Jesus Montero as a client of a South Florida anti-aging clinic said to be a haven for those wanting to acquire performance enhancing drugs.
The clinic, Biogenesis, run by Anthony Bosch, has since been shuttered down. But it’s been the focus of increased investigation from MLB and federal officials the past week-plus since a report in the Miami New Times linked it as a supply point for PEDs given to Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and others in MLB.
January 29, 2013 at 8:36 AM
The original BALCO scandal earlier last decade involving the Bay Area laboratory that sold performance enhancing drugs to baseball’s top stars resulted in a new era of steroids testing being ushered in to MLB in 2005. Since then, if we were to believe some baseball officials and players, the use of PEDs in the game had curbed as a result.
But of course, with the suspensions last year of Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and others for elevated synthetic testosterone levels, new questions surfaced. This year, MLB will begin regularly testing players for both synthetic testosteron and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) use. But those changes may not have come in time to spare baseball — and other sports — from the 2013, East Coast version of the BALCO scandal.
In today’s Miami New Times, reporter Tim Elfrink writes about his three-month investigation into a Miami-based clinic called Biogenesis. The story is based largely on internal clinic documents supplied by a former employee that detail how Cabrera, Colon, Yasmani Grandal and non-suspended players like Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz were supplied banned PEDs, while Gio Gonzalez is also listed as a client but only as a purchaser of a muscle-building protein that is allowed under baseball rules.
Just like in the BALCO case, baseball isn’t the only sport touched by the scandal. Other names on the clinic’s supply list include Cuban boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and banned South African tennis player Wayne Odesnik. But as with BALCO, it’s again baseball seeing some of its bigger names and top stars heading the list at a time we’re still fresh off the Hall of Fame controversy in which no one was voted in this year, largely due to suspicions about the use of performance enhancing drugs.
It will be interesting to see what steps baseball takes in the wake of today’s bombshell about Biogenesis.