Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
In this undated image taken from video and provided by 60 minutes, Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch, left, talks with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. Federal authorities are charging the owner of a defunct Florida clinic accused of providing steroids and other banned substances to Major League Baseball players, including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. According to Miami federal court records Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, Anthony Bosch faced one count of conspiracy to distribute testosterone. (AP Photo/60 Minutes) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; NO ARCHIVE; FOR NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY
Drug investigation: Clinic owner tied to MLB scandal to plead guilty
First Published Aug 05 2014 09:31 am • Last Updated Aug 05 2014 10:09 pm

Miami • The former clinic owner accused of selling performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez has agreed to plead guilty in what prosecutors called a wide-ranging conspiracy to distribute steroids to both major league ballplayers and high school athletes.

The charges filed Tuesday against former Biogenesis of America owner Anthony Bosch and six others marked one of the biggest salvos yet in a case that has dragged on for nearly two years. The case has sparked lawsuits, mudslinging and suspensions against numerous major leaguers, including Rodriguez.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Also charged was Yuri Sucart, 52, a cousin of Rodriguez who the New York Yankees third baseman has said provided him with steroids from 2000 to 2003 when he played for the Texas Rangers.

Sucart and the others are accused of acting as recruiters, setting up meetings between the athletes and Bosch, who introduced himself as "Dr. T," authorities said. Professional athletes paid up to $12,000 a month for the drugs provided by Biogenesis, while high schoolers paid up to $600 a month. All the clients were promised that the substances would not be found through drug testing, prosecutors said.

"He is not a doctor," Mark R. Trouville, chief of the Miami Drug Enforcement Administration office, said of Bosch. "He is a drug dealer."

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said Bosch did not have a medical license, making what happened all the more dangerous.

"As with many drug cases, these defendants were motivated by one thing — by money," Ferrer said.

Major League Baseball was not part of the criminal investigation and declined comment. No athletes were charged nor named in court documents, and it is unclear how many may have been involved. However, authorities said Bosch admitted to providing performance-enhancing drugs to 18 high schoolers.

For now, Bosch has pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at $100,000. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

"In terms of an agreement to cooperate and plead guilty, Bosch has agreed to do that," Ferrer said.


story continues below
story continues below

Michael McCann, director of the sports and entertainment law center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, said it’s unlikely that the players involved in this scandal will face criminal charges, unless there’s any evidence that a player went beyond using drugs and into distributing them.

"They could lose an endorsement contract because of a morals clause in their contract, but if that were to happen I think it would have already happened," McCann said. "In terms of punishment from baseball, baseball has punished them."

The prosecution may have taken so long because investigators might have wanted to confirm the information they were getting from Bosch, even if he was cooperating, McCann said.

"He’s not somebody with a great track record, there are reasons to doubt him in terms of his credibility," he said.

Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for Rodriguez, said the arrests Tuesday represent a degree of closure for Rodriguez and will enable him to focus on an eventual return to baseball.

"It sort of reinforces the notion that Alex committed no crime, number one," Tacopina said. "And number two, quite frankly, this really signified the beginning of the end of the whole Biogenesis saga and allows Alex to focus on the future going forward."

Rodriguez is currently serving a season-long suspension, the longest penalty in the sport’s history related to performance-enhancing drugs. He was the only one 14 players involved in the scandal to contest his penalty.

However, since the investigation is ongoing, it remains possible that more players could eventually face sanctions as a result of the Biogenesis probe.

Rodriguez denied taking steroids while playing for the Yankees, though his cousin was banned from the team’s clubhouse, charter flights and other activities after Rodriguez said Sucart obtained the steroids he used while playing for the Rangers.

Bosch was charged with conspiracy to distribute testosterone, as was Sucart, Carlos Javier Acevedo, Jorge Augustine Velazquez, Christopher Benjamin Engroba, Juan Carlos Nunez and Lazaro Daniel Collazo — a well-known youth and college baseball coach who has worked at schools including Miami, Louisville, Florida State and South Florida.

Acevedo pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at $100,000. Engroba pleaded not guilty and his bond was $50,000. No other pleas were entered Tuesday.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.