Alex Rodriguez, Other MLB Stars Linked to Doping

Major League Baseball, which has been investigating the link of performance-enhancing drugs to players with South Florida ties for much of the last year, may be faced with its most significant doping case since the BALCO scandal rocked the sport one decade ago.

All-Stars Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, pitcher Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals, Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers and Melky Cabrera of the Toronto Blue Jays, along with other MLB players and athletes in other sports, were strongly connected to performance-enhancing drug use in an investigative report by the Miami New Times.

The report revealed records from Biogenesis, a South Florida clinic, that indicated players received illegal substances from Anthony Bosch, the head of the clinic, who is already under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The New Times investigation into Biogenesis and Bosch cites interviews with six customers and two former employees as well as patient files and other documents it received from a Biogenesis employee before it closed last month.

The report indicates the players received human growth hormone, testosterone, specially-designed drug cocktails and other performance-enhancing substances from the clinic.

MLB has turned over all of its information gathered in South Florida to Drug Enforcement Agency officials in hopes the DEA can utilize its subpoena power, a high-ranking MLB executive told USA TODAY Sports. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.

Tuesday's New Times report ensnares several players strongly tied to PED use in the past, along with some new faces.

Most notable: Rodriguez, a two-time MVP and the game's highest-paid player who in February 2009 admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003.

The New Times report suggests his pattern of doping continued well after his confession, even into the 2012 season. It states that Rodriguez received human growth hormone, testosterone and other substances from Bosch.

In a statement obtained by the New York Post, Rodriguez strongly denied any relationship with Bosch.

"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true," the statement read. "Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch's patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story -- at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez -- are not legitimate.'

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Bob Nightengale
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