Just after 6 a.m. ET, now-notorious PED peddler Tony Bosch arrived at a regional DEA office in Fort Lauderdale, FL, to plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids.
Bosch’s Biogenesis of America clinic located in Coral Gables, FL, is behind the largest performance enhancing drug scandal in American professional sports history, leading to more than a dozen lengthy suspensions for MLB players accused of using his drugs.
Here is everything you need to know about Bosch and the scandal:
Who is Tony Bosch?
According to ESPN, Bosch is a self-described “biochemist,” with long ties to Major League Baseball players and the steroid industry. In 2012, he opened Biogenesis of America in Coral Gables with family members, advertising it as an anti-aging and wellness clinic.
The clinic came under suspicion during an investigation launched by MLB in January 2013, and according to ESPN, Bosch “has had ties to the loosely regulated South Florida wellness industry, which pitches the promise of drugs to turn the scrawny to muscular and bring vitality to the tired and aged.”
But suspicions about Bosch’s practice arose because of his dubious ties to MLB franchises and players for nearly a decade. From ESPN:
"He has attended parties with players and procured tickets to big league ballparks, especially in Boston and New York. He traveled to Kansas City during last summer's All-Star Game break. He was seen in a popular Coral Gables nightspot after the 2011 season with Melky Cabrera, who was suspended by baseball last season after a positive drug test.”
During MLB’s steroid investigation, Bosch offered to cooperate, providing calendars, texts, and information leading to a wide swath of suspensions.
What Did Bosch Distribute?
The most infamous drug provided by the clinic was Human Growth Hormone, the same drug leading to Alex Rodriguez’s record-breaking 162-game suspension.
HGH is a naturally occurring substance produced by the pituitary gland. It helps boost growth during childhood but decreases as we age. Synthetic HGH injected into the body helps boost muscle growth and athletic performance, which makes it desirable for professional athletes looking for that extra edge.
Bosch is also accused of providing a cocktail of other PEDs including testosterone, known to boost muscle mass. Of course, pumping steroids comes with a slew of unattractive risks. Some choice ones courtesy of the Mayo Clinic include enlarged breasts, baldness, shrunken testicles, infertility, and impotence.
Who Did Bosch Distribute to?
According to ESPN, Bosch served a wide-ranging clientele including athletes from multiple sports, as well as entertainers in the South Florida region.
But his most famous users surfaced after MLB served suspensions to 14 athletes exactly a year ago today. Among the most notable on the list are: Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, and Melky Cabrera.
What Happens Next?
Later this afternoon, Bosch will head to court to face one count of conspiracy to distribute testosterone.
But questions will still remain as to his punishment and the reach of his clinic. According to ESPN, investigators are still looking into whether Bosch acted as a physician even though he is not licensed as one, as well as whether or not he distributed PEDs to teenagers.