Anthony Bosch's tangle of ties, titles

He befriended players while tapping expertise of hormone therapy doctors

Updated: February 6, 2013, 6:49 PM ET
By Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn | ESPN.com

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The self-described biochemist targeted by Major League Baseball as a supplier of performance-enhancing drugs has strong links to clinics and individuals who make a living in the South Florida wellness or anti-aging industries.

Even as he treated athletes, Anthony Bosch had designs on setting up a national distribution network for performance enhancers such as growth hormone and testosterone, "Outside the Lines" has learned.

Bosch, 49, is listed on state incorporation documents filed in 2009 for what would have been an online pharmaceutical business, but an associate told "Outside the Lines" that legal concerns voiced by his attorneys killed the venture. By then, Bosch had already told others, or allowed them to believe, that he was an "anti-aging doctor." Though he had no medical license, Bosch managed to build relationships with local doctors who helped educate him on protocols for using hormones -- with one telling "Outside the Lines" that Bosch bragged about having treated MLB players.

Bosch
Bosch

Bosch most recently ran Biogenesis of America, a clinic alleged to be a source of PEDs for a more than a handful of prominent baseball players, topped by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. It closed in December, a few weeks before news reports started detailing Bosch's alleged treatments of and involvement with players.

The closure marked the latest blip in Bosch's career on the fringe of the health care industry. He's had a hand in so many ventures, directly and indirectly, over the years that it is hard even for close associates to keep track of them all. At one point, he allegedly functioned as a specialist in a dental office that also dabbled in the anti-aging business.

All the while, Bosch emerged as a popular figure with baseball players who live and train in South Florida. He befriended a few player agents and prominent sports trainers, while tapping into the expertise of local Latin doctors versed in hormone therapies. One of his businesses fronted an elite adult men's softball team a decade ago, a friend recalled.

Among Bosch's medical and clinic associates, a common theme emerges: potential issues or outright disciplinary action from the state medical board, financial woes (often in the form of IRS tax liens or bankruptcies) and even criminal records. Another theme has been the involvement of family members in his businesses, specifically his father, Dr. Pedro Bosch, and younger brother, Ashley.


Multiple businesses but little attention

As Bosch opened and closed businesses through the years, he stayed out of the public limelight, presumably oblivious to MLB investigators, until he was linked to a banned substance in 2009 that resulted in the suspension of then-Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez.

In 2011, with MLB officials presumably unaware, the Miami native played a consulting role in the defense mounted by Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun against a positive test result for elevated testosterone levels. Braun, a former University of Miami player, acknowledged a business relationship with Bosch after it was reported Tuesday that Braun's name appeared in records for Bosch's clinic.

In a statement, Braun said that Bosch -- who is not licensed in any medical capacity by the state of Florida -- was consulted about Braun's elevated testosterone-epitestosterone ratio, the cause of his positive test, and the possibilities of tampering with urine samples.

David Cornwell, the lead attorney for Braun's defense, said he did not bring in Bosch and downplayed his role. Chris Lyons, an attorney who also represented Braun during his defense, declined comment when contacted by "Outside the Lines." Lyons also was mentioned multiple times in the Biogenesis records, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Lyons represented another athlete whose name appears in Bosch's records, professional tennis player Wayne Odesnik, well before the Braun case. Odesnik, who lives 20 miles north of Miami in Weston, Fla., pleaded guilty to importation of human growth hormone in Australia in March 2010.

It is unclear whether baseball is focused solely on Bosch, though multiple sources have told "Outside the Lines" it is unrealistic to believe he is the only South Florida source available to players.

Also unclear is how much headway MLB investigators had made on the South Florida scene until recent media reports brightened the spotlight. MLB investigators lack subpoena power and, in some cases, have been unaware of particular doctors and key players in the local wellness industry. It is only in recent days that MLB has begun reaching out to individuals mentioned in media reports and others familiar with the inner workings of Bosch's business.

Sources said many of those familiar with Bosch and his clinic are reluctant to cooperate with MLB.

Baseball investigators returned to the area Monday, meeting with the Miami New Times -- which first published Bosch-related documents -- about records that link players to Bosch's clinic. The records include the names of at least four players represented by Brooklyn-based ACES sports agency, run by brothers Sam and Seth Levinson -- Melky Cabrera, Gio Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz and Jesus Montero. Another prominent name appearing in records is that of Juan Nunez, a South Florida-based associate of the agents who is known to have worked closely with their Latin players.

However, officials close to the investigation claim the players' alleged participation is an "insignificant sliver" in an industry widely promoted in the local media, both over radio airwaves and in print, and loosely regulated by the state. Bosch's ventures, though, have typically run in an under-the-radar fashion with minimal paid-for promotion.


Made enemies of at least a few people

Bosch told "Outside the Lines" the allegations against him are "bulls---" and "all wrong." His attorney, Susy Ribero-Ayala, followed with a statement denying the allegations and told "Outside the Lines" that Bosch wouldn't be talking "anytime very soon."

The twice-divorced Bosch is portrayed by those close to him as indulging in the South Florida lifestyle, living in a waterfront condo on Key Biscayne and frequenting the club scene along the trendy Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, just a short trek from his now-shuttered clinic.

Biogenesis
Mike Fish/ESPNTwo unidentified men last fall leave Biogenesis of America in Coral Gables, Fla., a clinic under investigation by Major League Baseball.

But, along the way, he's made enemies of at least a few former friends and colleagues, and at least in one instance he has been the subject of a death threat.

According to a 2010 Key Biscayne police report, Bosch said he was walking in a parking lot behind his then-office on an August afternoon when his life was threatened. He was startled by the roar of a truck coming up behind him. He turned, vaguely recognizing the driver, and suspecting bad intentions, he ran to his second-floor office.

Soon after, Bosch told police, he received a call from an unknown number in his office and a male voice warned, "I'm strapped, and I'm going to kill you." Bosch offered investigators vague information on the person he'd recognized earlier behind the wheel -- 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, brown hair, with a last name "Lopez." It was not enough information that led to anyone being questioned or charged. He said they'd met a year earlier and were "involved in an incident over a female," according to details in the report.

The office address listed in the report was a dental practice known as Smile with Zenitude. At one time, it billed itself as an all-purpose retreat, unique even by South Florida standards, that also housed the Ageless Medical Institute and its "de-aging" rooms -- offering rejuvenation therapy via hormone therapies, cosmetic and plastic surgery, and laser treatments. A dental patient in for a routine teeth cleaning told "Outside the Lines" that he was introduced to Bosch a little more than a year ago as the "anti-aging doctor." He said Bosch, who had a small office in the practice, yanked up his shirt to show off his abs as he pitched the value of growth hormone treatments.

Loretta Castellanos, the owner of the practice on the second floor of a strip shopping plaza, has not responded to numerous calls from "Outside the Lines." A friend, however, said she had had a falling out with Bosch that led to his removal from the practice.

When a reporter visited the office last week, a receptionist said the practice no longer offers anti-aging treatments or plastic surgery. She claimed not to know Bosch, but subsequently acknowledged seeing his name in "old records."

"He doesn't have a license, does he?" the receptionist inquired.

There is no license on record with the state, but friends and associates say that hasn't stopped Bosch from playing the role of doctor.

A former Bosch business associate, Alejandro Menendez, touched on Bosch's medical pedigree to "Outside the Lines," saying, "Yeah, he is a doctor." He cautioned, however, that "I don't think he is licensed."

Yet the doctor designation preceded Bosch's name in state corporation filings made on behalf of Medical Hrt Inc. in 2009. Bosch was listed as the vice president and Menendez as the president; records indicate Menendez filed for federal bankruptcy a year later.

Menendez told "Outside the Lines" that the ambitious venture never launched because of potential legal concerns voiced by attorneys he consulted. The plan, Menendez said, was to set up a lucrative national, online business to prescribe and primarily sell HGH and testosterone. It would have included a national network of doctors to see clients in person and to write prescriptions for online purchases.

Ultimately, it proved too risky an undertaking in the wake of authorities' having cracked down on similar ventures, most notably Signature Pharmacy in Orlando.

Menendez portrayed Bosch as the brains behind the plan, saying he would have been responsible for procuring the pharmaceuticals. "He was going to take care of it," Menendez told "Outside the Lines." "Supposedly he was already in that business. I think he is still in the business. He wanted to do this on a national scale. The problem is you can't sell it over the Internet. It is illegal. At least I don't think so. I mean it sure is done, but I don't think it is legal."


Doctor says he taught Bosch techniques

Bosch, though, already had a history of dabbling in treatments reliant on the use of human growth hormone and testosterone dosages. He also was known to brag about athletes being under his care, specifically Major League Baseball players.

Dr. Carlos Diuana Nazir told "Outside the Lines" he consulted with Bosch as recently as three years ago. Nazir, a urologist who earned his medical degree in Mexico, himself brought a checkered past to the relationship, having lost his Florida medical license in 2004. He also was sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution after his conviction on a Medicaid fraud scam tied to an impotency drug.

[+] EnlargeAlex Rodriguez
Tim Farrell/THE STAR-LEDGER/USA TODAY SportsYankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been linked to Anthony Bosch's clinic.

"He kept mentioning and dropping names, but a lot of these guys just drop names to say they are busy taking care of people," Nazir recalled of Bosch's ties to ballplayers. "You never know if they are truly treating the athlete or not."

Nazir couldn't recall names, saying, "I don't know because they were baseball players and I have no idea."

One name he confidently says never surfaced is Alex Rodriguez. "No, I would know that name," he said when asked. "No, I don't think he ever mentioned that."

Reached by phone in Madrid, Spain, where Nazir has resurrected his medical career, he remained outspoken in his belief that all professional athletes should utilize HGH and testosterone as a means of staying healthy and prolonging careers.

Nazir said he has not been contacted by anyone from Major League Baseball.

Nazir said a physician friend, Dr. Jose Luis Rodriguez, referred Bosch to Nazir; Bosch had previously consulted with Rodriguez. Nazir said Rodriguez had a subsequent falling out with Bosch, as did Nazir.

According to public records, Rodriguez allowed his medical license to expire in 2006 and later had an affiliation with several now-inactive ventures, among them: Lee's Prescription Shops, Pharmasystems Cost Containment Corp., Disease Management Solutions and VIP Med Services. Records also indicate Rodriguez settled a federal bankruptcy case in 2000, and in 2007 he was the subject of an IRS tax lien.

Since October, Rodriguez has denied repeated "Outside the Lines" requests for comment.

Nazir said the specific insight Bosch sought from the doctor centered on the application of doses in treating patients with hormones. He recalled, "He was training to learn how you dosify. How do you calculate doses in patients? How do you not overdose somebody? What do you do when complications come in? How do you counteract? There are hormones for everything. The ones that counteract something that you don't want. Then he went over on his own, and I have no idea what he has been doing in the last three years."

It wasn't long into the teaching, Nazir said, before Bosch acted like he knew more than the medical doctor, adding Bosch's arrogance has rubbed some in the medical community the wrong way. He said, "His father [Dr. Pedro Bosch] covers up for him all the time."


Multiple connections with family, associates

Bosch's family relationships and longtime associates carried through to Biogenesis of America, his clinic under MLB investigation.

Prior to the incorporation of Biogenesis in March, Bosch was connected with another clinic in the same office, across from the University of Miami campus, by the name of Biokem. Bosch, though, was never listed as an officer of the company, typical for many of the businesses he has been associated with.

"Outside the Lines" has learned that Bosch at the time ran the clinic with another wellness guru, Carlos Acevedo. That clinic morphed into Revive Miami, and when Acevedo and Bosch had a falling out, Acevedo set up shop 5 miles away, and for a brief time each operated a clinic under the same name. Bosch's venture would soon become Biogenesis of America.

At Revive Miami, Acevedo was listed as the founder and program director for hormone therapy treatment with Dr. Rafael Prats, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist, who at another nearby wellness center serves as the staff anti-aging specialist.

Another common link to the clinics is Ricardo Martinez, who identified himself on a social media page as the chief financial officer of both Biogenesis of America and Revive Miami. He could not be reached for comment.

On Dec. 2, when property management officials arrived for work in the same building, they found the fourth-floor office of Revive Miami cleaned out. The furniture was gone and the walls bare. All that remained were a handful of promotional fliers. And the leasing agent said rent was unpaid.

Acevedo has declined comment to "Outside the Lines."

The father of a child with Bosch's oldest daughter, was also listed as an official with Biokem.

Sources also said Bosch has had close ties with Jorge "Oggi" Velasquez, the owner of Boca Body Rejuvenation Center, another Coral Gables clinic. Prats, the former Revive Miami anti-aging specialist, also is identified with Boca Body, which operates out of an upscale, high-rise office building. Velasquez, who according to records previously owned a wine and liquor store, said he was "not interested" in commenting when contacted, before hanging up. Prats could not be reached for comment.

Bosch is also said to have a relationship with Dodd Romero, a popular fitness trainer who previously worked with Alex Rodriguez. Romero did not respond to messages left for him.

The Bosch family name, with its Cuban roots, is well-known within the Miami medical community. Bosch's father, Pedro, has practiced medicine in Florida since 1976. Bosch's mother, Stella, 76, practiced until voluntarily relinquishing her license last year. His sister is a licensed physician, and so is a cousin.

According to Pedro Bosch's receptionist, his late cousin, Orlando Bosch, was also a doctor -- a pediatrician -- having practiced in his native land before becoming an armed anti-Castro guerrilla. At the time of his passing in 2011 at the age of 84, Orlando was a hero in some quarters of Miami's Cuban exile community and an unrepentant criminal in others.

Connected with several militant anti-Castro groups, Orlando Bosch was convicted in 1968 for using a makeshift bazooka to shell a Communist Polish freighter docked in Miami. Later, in 1976, he was charged in Venezuela, and subsequently acquitted after much of the prosecution evidence was ruled inadmissible, in connection with the bombing of a Cuban airliner in which 73 people were killed.

"Very, very famous name in the Miami community," said Dennis Kainen, a prominent Miami criminal defense attorney. "He was one of those big anti-Castro freedom fighters from the '60s and '70s. ... It is one of those South Florida things -- people remember things for 30-40 years."

T.J. Quinn joined ESPN in November 2007 as an investigative reporter for ESPN's Enterprise Unit, which is charged with developing long-form, investigative features to be presented across multiple platforms.