Florida clinic owner charged in baseball doping scandal

Tue Aug 5, 2014 6:29pm EDT
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By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Tuesday filed criminal charges against an anti-aging clinic owner and six others at the center of a doping scandal that led to the suspension of Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez and other high-profile players.

Professional athletes paid as much as $12,000 per month for testosterone-filled syringes and creams from Anthony Bosch, the owner of a now defunct clinic in Florida, according to federal officials who said they expect him to plead guilty.

Bosch faces one count of conspiracy to distribute testosterone, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to court records.

The first federal criminal charges filed in one of U.S. sports' biggest doping scandals also ensnared Yuri Sucart, a cousin of Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger and baseball's highest paid player, now suspended for the entire 2014 season.

None of the dozen or so players who were suspended in the fallout from the scandal involving the Miami-area Biogenesis clinic faced criminal charges on Tuesday.

Officials from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami said they are continuing to investigate the network used to supply performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes and youth players.

"Professional athletes who use drugs to enhance their performance are not heroes, they are cheaters," south Florida U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said at a news conference.

The discovery of the repeated doping in baseball and among top players is an embarrassment for the league which had vowed to clean up the sport after widespread steroids use over the past decades.   Continued...