Players could be asked to appear before MLB for interviews, but the official said MLB would be reluctant to request interviews before it has more evidence.
Rodriguez spent years denying he used PEDs before Sports Illustrated reported in February 2009 that he tested positive for two steroids in MLB’s anonymous survey while with the Texas Rangers in 2003. Two days later, he admitted in an ESPN interview that he used PEDs over a three-year period. He has denied using PEDs after 2003.
If the new allegations were true, the Yankees would face high hurdles to get out of the final five years and $114 million of Rodriguez’s record $275 million, 10-year contract. Because management and the players’ union have a joint drug agreement, an arbitrator could determine that any action taken by the team amounted to multiple punishments for the same offense.
But if Rodriguez were to end his career because of the injury, about 85 percent of the money owed by the Yankees would be covered by insurance, one of the baseball officials said.
The Yankees said “this matter is now in the hands of the commissioner’s office” and said they will not comment further until MLB’s investigation ends.
Gonzalez, 21-8 for the Washington Nationals last season, posted on his Twitter feed: “I’ve never used performance enhancing drugs of any kind and I never will, I’ve never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substance provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie.”
Colon was not issuing a statement, agent Adam Katz said through spokeswoman Lisa Cohen.
“We are aware of certain allegations and inferences,” Cruz’s law firm, Farrell & Reisinger, said in a statement. “To the extent these allegations and inferences refer to Nelson, they are denied.”
Sam and Seth Levinson, the agents for Cabrera, Cruz and Gonzalez, did not respond to emails seeking comment. Greg Genske, Grandal’s agent, also did not reply to an email.
Cruz and Gonzalez had not previously been linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Cruz hit 24 home runs last year for the Texas Rangers, who says they notified MLB last week after being contacted by the New Times.
The New Times report said it obtained notes by Bosch listing the players’ names and the substances they received. Several unidentified employees and clients confirmed to the publication that the clinic distributed the substances, the paper said. The employees said that Bosch bragged of supplying drugs to professional athletes but that they never saw the sports stars in the office.
The paper said the records list that Rodriguez paid for HGH; testosterone cream; IGF-1, a substance banned by baseball that stimulates insulin production; and GHRP, which releases growth hormones.
Rodriguez’s cousin, Yuri Sucart, is also listed as having purchased HGH. Sucart was banned from the Yankees clubhouse, charter flights, bus and other team-related activities by MLB in 2009 after Rodriguez said Sucart obtained and injected PEDs for him.
Also listed among the records, according to the New Times, are tennis player Wayne Odesnik, Cuban boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and Jimmy Goins, the strength and conditioning coach of the University of Miami baseball team.
Odesnik, who lost in the first round of qualifying for this year’s Australian Open, is a former top-100 player who was suspended by the International Tennis Federation after Australian customs officers found eight vials containing HGH in his luggage when he arrived in that country ahead of a January 2010 tournament. He denied using HGH and never tested positive for it. What originally was a two-year ban was cut in half because the ITF said Odesnik cooperated with its anti-doping program.
Mia Ro, a spokeswoman for the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Miami, said she could not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation into Bosch or the clinic.
The University of Miami said it was conducting “an intensive review” of the matter but did not identify Goins by name.
Goins was “very surprised” to learn of the allegations raised by the New Times, according to a statement from Michelle A. White, of the Coral Gables law firm of Fenderson & Hampton, which said it was representing him.
White would not comment on whether Goins was a patient of Bosch but added that Goins “has done nothing improper either personally or as a representative of the University of Miami,” and denies any allegation or inference of wrongdoing.