Biogenesis founder Anthony "Tony" Bosch was one of nine people arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday in connection with the illegal distribution of steroids. The round of arrests did not include any of the 13 players suspended by Major League Baseball in 2013 for ties to the clinic.
Bosch surrendered to federal agents at a Drug Enforcement Administration office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ESPN reports. Sources familiar with the situation said that the 50-year-old pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids – an offense which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Court documents did not reveal whether the arrests were directly linked to baseball's performance-enhancing drug scandal, Newsday reports.
Among the arrested was Yuri Sucart, cousin to suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the Associated Press reports. While the charges against Sucart have yet to be revealed, the man colloquially known as “Cousin Yuri” was banned from all Yankees activities after Rodriguez admitted that Sucart had injected him with steroids during his tenure with the Texas Rangers.
Bosch’s arrest occurred a year to the day that Major League Baseball announced a record-breaking set of punitive measures against Rodriguez and 12 other players who had ties to Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic in Florida. Rodriguez received the harshest penalty – a record 211-game suspension. However, an arbitration panel later reduced the suspension to 162 games. To date, nearly 20 MLB players have been suspended for links to Biogenesis, including prominent names such as former National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun, former Boston Red Sox star Manny Ramirez, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz and New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon.
Operating without a medical license, Bosch, who publicly declared himself to be a “nutritionist,” founded Biogenesis as an “anti-aging clinic.” However, Porter Fischer, a disgruntled customer, leaked thousands of documents to the Miami New Times in January 2013, prompting an investigation into the clinic’s practices.
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Initially, Bosch denied any wrongdoing, but he eventually became the star witness in Major League Baseball’s legal case against Rodriguez. In January, Bosch admitted on “60 Minutes” to supplying performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players.
While nearly two dozen MLB players have been disciplined in connection to the Biogenesis investigation, none of them have yet faced criminal charges. Federal investigators have so far opted to focus on the prosecution of Bosch and his associates. However, sources told the New York Daily News that a “second wave of charges or indictments” could eventually affect certain players. In particular, Rodriguez, who allegedly threatened witnesses associated with the investigation into his steroid use, could possibly face a charge of obstruction of a federal investigation.