Bosch’s Sentencing Closes the Book on the Biogenesis Case

Photo: AP

With Anthony Bosch’s sentencing, we can close the book on the Biogenesis scandal that rocked Major League Baseball in 2013. 

Anthony Bosch, former owner of Biogenesis of American, was sentenced to four years in prison today, though that sentence could be further reduced if Bosch continues to cooperate with prosecutors.

Bosch became a household name amongst baseball fans in 2013, when the Miami New Times reported that several MLB players who had previously tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs – including Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera – had ties to the clinic. In addition, the paper mentioned several players who, at the time, were not tied to PED use, including Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez. We know now that those reports turned out to be true as well.

Anthony Bosch 2

Bosch, trying to avoid further persecution, pleaded guilty and helped MLB with their investigations

When the Miami New Times refused to hand over the documents tying these players to the clinic, Major League Baseball sued Bosch in an attempt to recover any records that existed. Finding himself in hot water not only with Major League Baseball, but the Florida Health Department, Bosch agreed to help MLB in exchange for his name being taken on the suit. In October, 2014, Bosch pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute testosterone, ending with his sentencing today.

The Biogenesis scandal rocked Major League Baseball, and led to numerous suspensions. In all, more than a dozen players ended up with suspensions ranging from 50 games to a full season. Those suspended included lower-profile players such as Francisco Cervelli, Jhonny Peralta, and Everth Cabrera, all of whom were suspended 50 games. However, it is three names that will be best-remembered from the Biogenesis scandal.

Of this “Big Three,” the shortest suspension was handed to Nelson Cruz, who agreed to a 50-game ban without the right to appeal. Cruz began his appeal on August 5, 2013, coming back for a one-game playoff against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers lost that game, missing the playoffs for the first time in four year. Cruz never played another game for the Rangers, signing with the Baltimore Orioles that offseason.

MLB: AUG 30 Nelson Cruz Press Conference

Cruz blamed his PED use on a stomach infection and ensuing weight loss. He played only one more game for the Rangers following his 50-game suspension

The second big name involved in the Biogenesis scandal was Ryan Braun. Braun received a 65-game suspension stemming from his PED use, as well as far more public outcry than Cruz had. Braun deserved the reaction he got; he treated all prior allegations of PED use with incredulity, including a positive testosterone test in 2011 that he blamed on an improperly-handled sample. Braun’s positive test and ensuing 50-game suspension were eventually overturned, though on a technicality; the fact remained that Braun’s testosterone levels were abnormally high.

Brewers Braun Baseball

Braun only apologized and owned up to his PED use after being cornered by MLB. Photo: AP

Two years later, when the Biogenesis scandal broke, Braun was named as a customer of the clinic. With overwhelming evidence against him, Braun could no longer dispute the charges. He was suspended for the final 65 games of the 2013 season; the extra 15 games were for Braun’s violations of the CBA, specifically his “conduct detrimental to baseball.” By attacking the man who handled his 2011 sample, and the drug-testing policies in general, Braun was ruled to have tarnished MLB’s image, thus the extra games.

As well all know, the final name involved in the scandal was Alex Rodriguez, who was eventually suspended for the entire 2014 season. Originally, A-Rod’s suspension was 211 games – the last two months of 2013 and all of 2014 – but Rodriguez appealed. While the suspension was eventually upheld, Rodriguez was able to play the rest of 2013 while waiting on a verdict. Rodriguez did not play at all in 2014, but will be returning this season.

MiLB: JUL 02 Rome Braves at Charleston River Dogs - Alex Rodriguez Rehab Game

Rodriguez fought his suspension the hardest, eventually missing the entire 2014 season

The Biogenesis scandal rocked Major League Baseball two years ago. While many fans of the game were ready to admit and accept that steroid use was rampant in the ‘90s and 2000s, the fact that PED use was still that prevalent in 2013 was surprising. In addition, both Rodriguez and Braun had previously denied PED use (Rodriguez admitted to use from 2001-2003, but had denied use after the 2003 season).

Anthony Bosch, in an attempt to save himself and avoid further persecution at the hands of Major League Baseball and the state of Florida, provided baseball with invaluable resources and names of users. Each user had his own reasoning; Cruz blamed his on the need to gain weight following a GI infection, while Cabrera said he had used the banned substances for only a few days to aid recovery from injury before stopping. Peralta took full responsibility, while only Rodriguez and Braun continued to deny until the evidence caught up to them.

With Alex Rodriguez’s return and now Bosch’s sentencing, we can more or less close the book on the Biogenesis scandal. All in all, more than a dozen players were suspended for more than 800 games. Bosch and Rodriguez are also expected to testify in April at the trials of Rodriguez’s cousin Yuri Sucart and a former Miami University pitching coach, Lazaro Collaza, according to ESPN.

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