Florida clinic owner charged in baseball doping scandal
MIAMI (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Tuesday filed criminal charges against a clinic owner and six others at the center of a doping scandal involving suspended Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez and a number of other high-profile players.
The owner of a now defunct anti-aging clinic in Florida, Anthony Bosch, 50, faces one count of conspiracy to distribute testosterone, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to court records.
Among the other six charged is Yuri Sucart, a cousin of Rodriguez, authorities said. Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger, is baseball's highest paid player and has been suspended for the entire 2014 season.
The dozen or so athletes ensnared in one of U.S. sports' biggest doping scandals were not charged with crimes by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami on Tuesday. Authorities said their investigation is ongoing.
Bosch's Biogenesis clinic in the Miami area also supplied performance-enhancing drugs to high school athletes, judges and coaches, authorities said.
Bosch is charged with distributing testosterone between October 2008 and December 2012, according to court filings. He is expected to plead guilty, authorities said, and has been cooperating with baseball officials in their investigation.
Carlos Javier Acevedo, his former business partner, was also charged with one count each of distributing testosterone and of distributing a stimulant between December 2009 and June 2013. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the first charge and 20 years for the second.
Bosch and his three business partners in the clinic were sued by Major League Baseball in 2013, but Bosch later agreed to cooperate with the league if it dropped the lawsuit.
First court appearances were scheduled in Miami federal court on Tuesday.
Other prominent players suspended in baseball's investigation into the doping scandal were 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.