Florida clinic owner to plead guilty in baseball doping scandal

Tue Aug 5, 2014 11:12pm EDT
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By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - The owner of a defunct Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of a doping scandal that led to the suspension of Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez has agreed to plead guilty to distributing testosterone, according to federal court documents filed on Tuesday.

The U.S. government filed criminal charges against Anthony Bosch and six others tied to the clinic, where federal prosecutors allege professional athletes paid as much as $12,000 per month for testosterone-filled syringes and creams.

Bosch, who faced one count of conspiracy to distribute testosterone, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, would possibly get a lesser sentence under terms of a plea deal finalized on Monday.

Bosch was released on a $100,000 bond, ESPN reported.

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.   Continued...