Saturday, January 26, 2013

MLB, DEA probe A-Rod adviser for possible PED link

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Major League Baseball are investigating a Miami-area man named Anthony Bosch — who has worked closely with Alex Rodriguez and has ties to Manny Ramirez — for Bosch's possible links to performance-enhancing drugs, reports The New York Daily News. The sources asked not to be identified because of the ongoing probe.

Bosch — a well known figure among current and former Latin ballplayers in the South Florida area — has advised the New York Yankees third baseman on nutrition, dietary supplements and training, a source with Miami-area anti-aging centers told The Daily News.

The source said Bosch — who has been affiliated with numerous Miami-area medical companies and clinics — and Rodriguez consulted with at least one other expert about blood test results.

Major League Baseball investigators are cooperating with the U.S. government and have turned over information about Bosch and his father, physician Pedro Publio Bosch to federal officials, a source told the newspaper.  Bosch and his father have already come under MLB and DEA scrutiny in 2009 for their links to then-Los Angeles Dodger Ramirez.  The Dodgers outfielder was suspended 50 games that year for using a banned substance.

Sources involved in the current probe told The News that MLB and federal investigators are trying to determine if Anthony Bosch and his father are involved in supplying banned substances to ballplayers.  The younger Bosch's relationship with major league players dates back to the 2000's when he attended parties with players and games in New York and Boston.

The 37-year-old Rodriguez is currently recovering from last week's hip surgery and the original prognosis for his return by the All-Star Game is still up in the air. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has even admitted that there is a chance that A-Rod might not play at all in 2013.

It isn't the first time Rodriguez has been associated with someone under investigation for supplying banned substances.  In 2009, he broke off his relationship with controversial Canadian doctor Anthony Galea after U.S. and Canadian law-enforcement agencies investigated the Toronto sports physician for ties to HGH and other drugs.

Galea, who said he treated A-Rod with a blood-spinning technique called platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), was indicted for five drug-related charges.  Four of the charges were dropped after he cooperated with authorities.

MLB is concerned about a widespread ring of synthetic testosterone, HGH and other drugs to players who have sought to circumvent MLB's drug-testing program by using hard-to-detect creams and gels they rub on parts of their bodies.  Several high-profile players including former Yankees Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon failed drug tests in 2012.

HGH is popular with athletes who use steroids because it helps reestablish normal testosterone production after extensive steroid use and helps prevent testicular atrophy.

Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees and Rodriguez's lawyer, Jay Reisinger, all declined comment to The New York Daily News.

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