After months of waiting, we finally have the official list of players suspended by Major League Baseball for their involvement in the purchase of performance-enhancing drugs from Biogenesis, a now-shuttered anti-aging clinic in the Miami area.
And Gio Gonzalez isn’t on it.
MLB formally announced that they have found “no violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program” by Gonzalez. As a result, he will not be suspended.
Gonzalez’s name had appeared in the personal notebooks of Tony Bosch, Biogenesis’ founder, but Gonzalez has claimed all along that he never purchased or used performance-enhancing drugs.
“I feel very confident (I’ll be cleared),” Gonzalez said when he addressed the Biogenesis link back in February. “At the end of the day, I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I never will.”
Gonzalez’s father, Max, claimed that he was the one that went 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.”
Now, finally, Gonzalez can put this issue behind him.
The Nationals released the following statement from Gonzalez:
“I am very pleased that Major League Baseball has cleared my name. With this process now complete, I have no lingering sense of animosity, as I quickly realized that the objective of this investigation was to clean up our game. This is an ideal that I share with both Major League Baseball and the MLBPA. I would also like to acknowledge the unwavering support of my teammates, the Lerner Family, Mike Rizzo, Davey Johnson, our coaching staff and Nationals fans everywhere.”
Major League Baseball did suspend 13 players today, 12 of which have accepted their 50-game suspensions. The only player suspended who will be appealing is Alex Rodriguez.
In a statement, commissioner Bud Selig said the following:
“Major League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports. I am proud of the comprehensive nature of our efforts - not only with regard to random testing, groundbreaking blood testing for human Growth Hormone and one of the most significant longitudinal profiling programs in the world, but also our investigative capabilities, which proved vital to the Biogenesis case. Upon learning that players were linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we vigorously pursued evidence that linked those individuals to violations of our Program. We conducted a thorough, aggressive investigation guided by facts so that we could justly enforce our rules.
“Despite the challenges this situation has created during a great season on the field, we pursued this matter because it was not only the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. For weeks, I have noted the many players throughout the game who have strongly voiced their support on this issue, and I thank them for it. I appreciate the unwavering support of our owners and club personnel, who share my ardent desire to address this situation appropriately. ...
“As a social institution with enormous social responsibilities, Baseball must do everything it can to maintain integrity, fairness and a level playing field. We are committed to working together with players to reiterate that performance-enhancing drugs will not be tolerated in our game.”