News / USA

    Key Figure in US Baseball Drug Scandal to Plead Guilty

    Anthony Bosch, foreground, former owner of the Biogenesis of America clinic, leaves the federal courthouse in Miami after paying bond, Aug. 5, 2014.
    Anthony Bosch, foreground, former owner of the Biogenesis of America clinic, leaves the federal courthouse in Miami after paying bond, Aug. 5, 2014.
    Mike Richman

    A man accused of selling performance enhancing drugs to American pro baseball star Alex Rodriguez and other players has agreed to plead guilty - the latest chapter in a scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball.  

    Tony Bosch, the former director of an anti-aging clinic called Biogenesis of America in the southern U.S. state of Florida, surrendered Tuesday to federal authorities. He faces one count of conspiring to distribute testosterone, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

    Bosch was one of seven people arrested Tuesday for allegedly conspiring to distribute steroids not only to pro baseball players, but also to youth athletes.  One of those arrested was Yuri Sucart, a cousin of Alex Rodriguez.

    U.S. federal prosecutor Wilfredo Ferrer:

    "Now today, we're here to announce that charges have been filed against Anthony Bosch, one of the original founders of Biogenesis of America, and six other individuals for their alleged involvement in the illegal distribution of performance enhancing drugs to minors, to professional athletes, and to others," said Ferrer.

    Ferrer accused the defendants of trying to take advantage of "impressionable" high school athletes.

    "As with many drug cases, these defendants were motivated by one thing, by money ... money.  And they did this by lining their pockets by exploiting the pressures placed on athletes and others to be bigger, to be stronger, to be faster and to play better," he said.

    These developments come a year after Major League Baseball suspended 13 players, including Rodriguez, for their links to Biogenesis of America, which is now closed.

    Rodriguez received an unprecedented 211-game suspension for allegedly using performance enhancing drugs, while the other 12 were banned for 50 games.

    He appealed his suspension and continued to play for his team, the New York Yankees.  But in January of this year, an arbitrator upheld about 75 percent of the 211-game suspension, banning Rodriguez for the entire 2014 season and playoffs.

    At the time of the arbitrator's ruling, Rodriguez said he had not used performance enhancing substances while playing for the Yankees, which acquired him in a trade in 2004.  However, he has admitted using performance enhancing drugs early in his career. 

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