Gonzalez "very confident" he'll be cleared despite link to PED clinic

VIERA, Fla. - After arriving here yesterday and taking part in a workout at Nationals camp this morning, Gio Gonzalez met with reporters and repeated the same message he delivered in a statement a couple weeks ago: He has never taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Gonzalez talked with reporters for 15 minutes just a bit ago in the home dugout at Space Coast Stadium, and said that he's fully cooperated with Major League Baseball's investigation into his relationship with Biogenesis, a Miami-area anti-aging clinic which was allegedly supplying performance-enhancing drugs to major league players.

The 27-year-old left-hander said that he has no idea how long MLB's investigation will take, but he feels he'll eventually be cleared of any wrongdoing.

"I feel very confident," Gonzalez said. "At the end of the day, I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I never will."

Gonzalez said he was "stunned" and "shocked" to learn that he had been named in a Miami New Times story into Biogenesis and Tony Bosch, who ran the clinic. In records obtained by the New Times, Gonzalez's name was found five separate times.

His father, Max, was also listed in Bosch's records. Max Gonzalez told the New Times he started going to Biogenesis in an attempt to lose weight.

"My father already admitted that he was a patient there, a legitimate patient," Gonzalez said. "You know how my father is. If you guys have been around him, all of South Florida, all of baseball knows that my father is the most proud father in baseball. Says hi, tells everyone about his son. That's the best I can say.

"Other than that, I have no clue why my name was on that list, or that notebook or anything."

In one of the entries in Bosch's notebook, the words "pink cream," which is a synthetic testosterone, were listed next to Gonzalez's name. Gonzalez said that he doesn't know anything about pink cream and did not receive any such substance.

Gonzalez was his same old self this morning, bouncing around the Nationals clubhouse, joking with teammates and handing out copies of Athletes Quarterly, a magazine that recently featured Gonzalez on its cover.

The link to Biogenesis doesn't appear to be affecting Gonzalez outwardly so far, and he doesn't expect it to affect him or the team as spring training progresses, either.

"No, and that's what I'm going to do my best is to keep it away from the locker room," Gonzalez said. "At the end of the day, I don't want this to be a distraction to the team."

Toward the end of his session with reporters, Gonzalez was asked whether he feels he has anything to prove this season after his linkage to Biogenesis.

"I don't think so, man," he responded. "I think three years in a row - 15-, 16-, 21-game winner, two-time All-Star - I think my resume speaks for itself. Same velocity, I've been the same guy every year. I'm going to go out there and compete, don't get me wrong. I'm going to try to go out there and win 25 games this year. ...

"It's going to motivate me to work even harder. But do I have to prove anything to anyone, absolutely not."

More to come.

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