MIAMI (Reuters) - The owner of a defunct anti-aging clinic at the heart of a steroid scandal that led to the suspension of Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez pleaded guilty in a U.S. court on Thursday to supplying performance-enhancing drugs.
Anthony Bosch, 51, will be sentenced on Dec. 18 in Miami on a charge of conspiracy to distribute testosterone, his attorney Guy Lewis said.
Authorities said professional athletes paid Bosch as much as $12,000 per month for testosterone-filled syringes and creams.
He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. A plea deal signed in August indicated Bosch could receive a lesser prison sentence depending on the level of cooperation and information he provides to authorities.
His previous cooperation with MLB investigators led to the suspension of more than a dozen players, including Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who was the National League’s most valuable player in 2011; Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz; Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres; and Jhonny Peralta of the St. Louis Cardinals.
None of the players have faced criminal charges in the case in the Southern District of Florida.
Bosch was arrested along with his former business partner and player recruiters on Aug. 5. Initially released on bond, a federal judge on Oct. 6 ordered him to be detained after he tested positive for cocaine and failed to attend drug treatment sessions.
The judge reinstated Bosch’s bond at the hearing on Thursday and Lewis said the former clinic owner was planning to go into drug treatment.
At his now defunct Biogenesis clinic in the Miami area, Bosch also supplied performance-enhancing drugs to college and high school athletes, charging $250 to $600 per month, authorities said.
His business partner Carlos Javier Acevedo was charged in both the doping ring as well as with conspiracy to distribute the club drug known as Molly.
Acevedo pleaded guilty to both charges earlier this month and faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines when he is sentenced in December.
Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Alan Crosby