Former Florida clinic owner gets four years prison in baseball doping case


MIAMI: The owner of a Florida business at the heart of a steroid scandal that led to the suspension of Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for supplying performance-enhancing drugs.

Anthony Bosch, 51, pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to distribute testosterone. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Darrin Gayles described the owner of the now-defunct anti-aging Biogenesis clinic as the mastermind of an operation that supplied testosterone and other substances to high school and professional athletes.

“He was the person who recruited others to assist him,” the judge said during a hearing in the Southern District of Florida in Miami. “One can only imagine the horror of a parent who has unwittingly taken a child to Mr. Bosch and watched as he used a syringe to inject a controlled substance into their children.”

Bosch faced up to 10 years in prison on the felony charge, but prosecutors sought a sentence of roughly four years due to his cooperation with federal and Major League Baseball investigators.

Bosch became a key witness for MLB, which has been paying his legal and security bills after suspending more than a dozen players based on information he provided.

Choking back tears during the court hearing, Bosch apologized for putting lives in jeopardy.

“My choices were terrible and I’m ashamed of myself,” he said. “I can’t put into words how sorry I am.”

Professional athletes paid Bosch as much as $12,000 per month for testosterone-filled syringes and creams, federal officials have said. He was also accused of selling performance-enhancing drugs to high school athletes, charging between $250 and $600 per month, according to an indictment.

Gayles said Bosch was under the influence of cocaine during the time he committed his crime.

Bosch’s cooperation with MLB investigators led to the suspensions of Rodriguez; 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.

Bosch also served as a witness for the federal government in prosecuting a handful of former associates from his former clinic. -Reuters