Thu, Feb 19, 2015 - Page 8 News List

Former owner of steroid clinic gets four years

AP, MIAMI

The former owner of a Florida medical clinic who posed as a doctor and illegally supplied steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players and even high-school athletes was sentenced on Tuesday to four years in a federal prison.

Anthony Bosch — who choked back tears in court and said the clinic was a legitimate business gone awry — sought a more lenient term because of his cooperation in an investigation, but US District Judge Darrin Gayles refused.

“This defendant was the most culpable in this conspiracy,” the judge said.

Prosecutors said Bosch could still get his sentence reduced through further cooperation, including potential trial testimony.

Gayles said Bosch falsely held himself out as a licensed medical doctor at his Biogenesis of America clinic, where he accepted thousands of US dollars a month to provide steroid injections to players such as New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Most troubling, Gayles said, was Bosch’s injections of high-school players in the Miami area.

“He was the mastermind,” Gayles said. “He was the one who recruited others to assist him.”

Miami Attorney Wifredo Ferrer issued a statement saying the message of the case is that “cheating doesn’t pay and individuals like Bosch, who distribute performance enhancing drugs to athletes and, more importantly, to our children, will be held accountable for their actions.”

Bosch, 51, pleaded guilty in October last year to conspiracy to distribute testosterone, the sixth person charged in the Biogenesis case to do so. Bosch and Rodriguez are expected to testify if the last two defendants — Rodriguez’s cousin Yuri Sucart and former University of Miami pitching coach Lazaro Collazo — go to trial as scheduled in early April.

The MLB imposed a record season-long suspension last year on Rodriguez, one of 14 players penalized in the scandal. The Yankees say Rodriguez, 39, is no longer their third baseman and will have a chance to earn at-bats as a designated hitter.

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney declined to comment.

A few hours after Bosch’s sentencing, Rodriguez issued a vague handwritten apology to fans saying he wants to “put this chapter behind me and play some ball.”

Bosch, who has been undergoing treatment for cocaine addiction since his guilty plea, was joined by more than two dozen friends and family members at his sentencing hearing.

“I’m ashamed of myself. I’m remorseful,” Bosch said. “I can’t put into words how sorry I am.”

However, Assistant US Attorney Michael Sullivan said that rather than help people with medical problems, Bosch’s main goal was to rake in money by illegally making the athletes “bigger, stronger and faster ballplayers.”

Bosch liked to call himself “Dr T,” according to court records.

“He was not a legitimate doctor. He wasn’t treating an illness. He wasn’t treating a disease,” Sullivan said.

Bosch’s lawyer Guy Lewis, a former US attorney in Miami, said that without his cooperation, the MLB would not have had sufficient evidence to sustain Rodriguez’s suspension.

Lewis said Bosch has met dozens of times with US Drug Enforcement Administration agents and helped prosecutors pore over thousands of pages of documents.

That cooperation, Lewis added, came despite threats from unnamed people warning Bosch to keep his mouth shut, forcing him to hire security personnel and move to several different locations.

This story has been viewed 2074 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top