Anthony Bosch, who ran an anti-aging clinic linked to suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, was among seven south Florida men charged with conspiring to distribute the anabolic steroid testosterone to professional and high school athletes.
Bosch, 50, agreed to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said today in a news conference. Bosch treated professional athletes from October 2008 to October 2012 after telling them he could make them “feel better, get stronger, recover faster, and play better,” according to a court filing in support of his guilty plea.
Prosecutors also charged Yuri Sucart, 52, Rodriguez’s cousin, in a probe that focused on anti-aging clinics in Miami, recruiters for those businesses and a black-market distributor of testosterone, according to Ferrer.
The seven men “provided easy access to dangerous concoctions of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) to impressionable high school kids and professional athletes on the promise of playing better, recovering faster from injury and having more energy,” Ferrer said in a statement.
No players were charged or identified in court documents. Professionals paid as much as $12,000 a month, while high school athletes paid from $200 to $600 a month, Ferrer said.
Bosch admitted distributing black market testosterone to 18 high school students, said Mark Trouville, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Miami.
“These youngsters had no idea what they were putting in their bodies,” he said. “When you talk about black market, we’re talking about a guy in his basement with a bucket and a burner and dangerously little knowledge of chemistry.”
Professional athletes got testosterone from Bosch through shots, creams and “gummies” under their tongues, according to a nine-page factual statement in support of Bosch’s guilty plea filed in court.
“Bosch advised the athletes to administer the shots in the buttock; troches/gummies were placed on the tongue before a game, and creams were applied to the upper arm and shoulder area in the morning and evening,” according to the statement. “Each program that Bosch created for each professional athlete varied based on the player and their need.”
Bosch, who founded Biogenesis of America LLC, supplied banned substances to Rodriguez, according to Major League Baseball. The ballplayer is serving a full-season suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Beyond the seven charged in the testosterone conspiracy, three other men were charged with distributing the drug known as Molly, Ferrer said. One is a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, according to authorities.
Bosch’s baseball ties came to light in January 2013 when the Miami New Times reported that Biogenesis records showed that athletes including Rodriguez, a three-time American League Most Valuable Player, got banned substances from the clinic. Last year at least 13 baseball players were suspended for ties to Biogenesis.
Major League Baseball sued Bosch in March 2013 for helping players obtain drugs and damaging the sport’s reputation. MLB dropped the suit in exchange for his cooperation, according to ESPN.
Rodriguez earlier this year ended his legal efforts to overturn his suspension, the longest such ban in MLB history. Players suspended for connections to Bosch, besides Rodriguez, include Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player; Nelson Cruz; and Bartolo Colon.
Baseball’s investigation into Biogenesis resulted in the sport’s widest-ranging drug-related case since a 2007 report by ex-U.S. Senator George Mitchell, which identified 89 players connected to banned substances. Before its examination of Bosch’s clinic, 19 major-league players had been suspended for drug use in the previous six years.