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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.