The PED Cloud Hangs Over Oakland Once Again


It’s happened again, as the Miami New Times reported today, another list of prominent baseball players have been outed as having an alledged connection to a PED distributor.  What the story uncovered (You can read it for yourself here) was a list of clients of a company called Biogenesis in Coral Gables, FL that was believed to be involved in selling performance enhancing drugs to baseball players while disguised as an anti-aging clinic.  No surprise that there were connections to the Athletics in that list.

September 6, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

For the record, all the players listed included Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, former Athletics farmhand Nelson Cruz, former Athletics player Gio Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal and current Athletics player Bartolo Colon.  Rodriguez, Cabrera, Grandal, and Colon have already either been suspended or have admitted to using steroids in the past.  And unfortunately the Oakland Athletics are no stranger to steroids and other PEDs dating back to the Bash Brother era with the likes of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire using the drugs to put up monster power numbers.  The infamous Mitchell Report was littered with Athletics players and players and those who once played in Oakland.  And we all know the shenanigans Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada took part in during their stays in the 510.

The inclusion of Bartolo Colon on this list is not really remarkable, we all know he used synthetic testosterone last season and got suspended for it.  All this does is shine a light on exactly where that substance came from.  By all accounts Biogenesis is the Miami equivalent of BALCO, so their goal was to amass a number of prominent athletes as clients, which is exactly what they did.

The troubling part of this is the naming of Gio Gonzalez.  Gio was a true fan favorite with the Athletics, and I hope that if he did do something (Although he did deny it via Twitter) that he wasn’t doing in in Oakland.  As I noted previously, there have been no shortage of connections between the Athletics and PEDs so I would hate to add another to the list.

The difficult truth in situations like this are that players are guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around.  So someone like Gio Gonzalez who really doesn’t fit the classic mold of a PED user, will always have a cloud of suspicion hanging over his head for at least the short term.  Long term though these things tend to fade away unless more allegations surface.  Gio is such an affable personality, and has always been great with the fans during his time with the Athletics, and his first season with the Washington Nationals.

Time will tell whether or not these allegations are true or not.  But regardless of what happens there has already been significant damage done to the reputation of an admirable young starting pitcher.  I along with many others I’m sure will do our best to give him the benefit of the doubt.