MIAMI -- Tony Bosch, the Miami-area man believed to be at the center of an ongoing PED scandal involving some of baseball's biggest names, says he knows nothing about performance-enhancing drugs and that media accounts of his alleged PED distribution are inaccurate "character assassination."
"I have been accused, tried and convicted in the media. And so I think have been falsely accused throughout the media," he told ESPN's Pedro Gomez on Monday in his first comments since the Biogenesis clinic scandal broke in January. "I've done nothing wrong."
Asked about players connected to him through documents and sources -- including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Melky Cabrera -- Bosch said, "I said no comment on any names. These are my clients. I am not going to divulge anything of my clients."
Asked specifically about accusations he provided PEDs to those athletes, Bosch said, "No comment. I am a nutritionist. I don't know anything about performance-enhancing drugs."
And when asked why he would not comment, Bosch, flanked by one of his attorneys, Julio Ayala, said, "My attorneys have advised me not to answer any of these questions."
Bosch's statements are sharply at odds with accounts from numerous sources who say he helped provide banned substances to possibly dozens of athletes. Two sources told "Outside the Lines" in January that Bosch injected Rodriguez with testosterone and human growth hormone at his Miami home several times. Shown a list Monday of athletes that several sources said was written by Bosch, Bosch said, "No comment. I have never seen that in my life." The list was one of dozens of documents obtained by "Outside the Lines."
Washington Nationals ace Gio Gonzalez was listed in the documents, but as "Outside the Lines" previously reported, two sources familiar with Bosch's operation said Gonzalez did not receive banned substances. New York Yankees star Robinson Cano has not been connected to the clinic, but "Outside the Lines" reported last week that the spokeswoman for his RC24 foundation, Sonia Cruz, was listed in documents as having been a client. Major League Baseball is investigating what Cano knew about her connection to the clinic, sources told OTL.
Bosch is the subject of a lawsuit filed by MLB claiming that he interfered with the game's business, and sources have said he is the focus of a Florida Department of Health investigation involving allegations that he practiced medicine without a license.
Asked about Bosch's comments, MLB executive VP Rob Manfred said, "We've tried to reach out to Mr. Bosch directly and through his attorneys for months and have received no response. We've been trying to serve process [for MLB's lawsuit] on him for a number of weeks. Unsuccessfully.
"We'd be thrilled to meet with Mr. Bosch whenever and wherever he wants to meet."
Bosch, who has described himself over the years either in person or on paperwork as a doctor and a biochemist, repeatedly said in the interview that he is only a "nutritional adviser." He conceded he is not a licensed physician but said he consults with physicians as part of his work. He would not describe his work with athletes. He says he has a degree from Central America Health Sciences University in Belize.
Bosch also said he has not been contacted by MLB investigators or reporters and that he has "nothing to hide." Several sources told "Outside the Lines," however, that MLB investigators have combed the Miami area looking for him, leaving messages at restaurants and bars he is known to frequent, while also calling his cellphone. "Nobody ever came up to me, nobody ever asked anything," he said. But Bosch spoke briefly to an "Outside the Lines" reporter in January when reached on his cellphone, saying he was unable to speak. OTL reporters also have left numerous messages for him on his voicemail, via text and through one of his attorneys for the past several months.
Asked about players under his care, Bosch cut in and said, "Allegedly under my care. If you are going to ask me about baseball players, I have no comment on any baseball players or anybody else associated with baseball players."
Bosch said the media attention has hurt his family, children and business, although his clinic was shuttered in September after what former associates described as a financial disagreement with his partners, and the story did not break until January.
The only player Bosch would discuss at all was Braun, whose name appears on at least two Biogenesis documents. One list has been described by sources as a list of players who received PEDs from the clinic or Bosch and indicates that Braun owed $1,500. Another, as reported by Yahoo! Sports, said Braun owed $20,000 to $30,000. Braun denied receiving drugs and issued a statement in February saying his legal team consulted with Bosch a year earlier when he successfully appealed a positive test for PEDs.
"I just answered a few questions from his legal team, not from Braun or any other ballplayer," Bosch said. He would not say what the questions were.
"Outside the Lines" also reported last week that according to several sources and documents, Bosch used forged prescriptions to obtain prescription drugs that were then diverted to athletes. Asked about that report, Bosch said, "No comment. I have no comment to anything."