Alex Rodriguez’s claim that the documents purportedly belonging to Anthony Bosch and his now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic are “not legitimate” took a major hit from teammate Francisco Cervelli and Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.
The alleged records of Bosch — most of which were published in the Miami New Times Jan. 29 — link several major leaguers to performance-enhancing drug use, including A-Rod. But a Yahoo! report Tuesday included an alleged document from Biogenesis that listed Braun’s and Cervelli’s names. Both Braun and Cervelli acknowledged they had dealings with Bosch, although they denied getting PEDs from him.
Cervelli’s admission via Twitter that he consulted with Biogenesis along with Braun’s confirmation in a statement that his name had indeed appeared on Bosch’s client list would appear to undermine Rodriguez’s claim that the documents are “not legitimate.” That is how a PR firm representing the Yankee third baseman characterized the Miami New Times report.
“Cervelli’s statement and Braun’s would indicate these notes were not just made up,” said one source familiar with MLB’s investigation into Bosch. “They are basically saying, ‘Yeah, we did deal with him.’”
Braun, a former NL MVP, acknowledged in a statement to the Daily News and other media outlets Tuesday night that his attorneys had used Bosch as an expert during Braun’s successful appeal of a 50-game suspension because of a failed drug test. Braun said his name appeared on the Bosch document because his lawyers employed Bosch as a “consultant” during the Milwaukee outfielder’s appeal.
Cervelli tweeted late Tuesday that he “consulted” Biogenesis following a 2011 foot injury, and that he purchased legal supplements from the clinic.
In Braun’s statement, he said that his attorneys used Bosch as a consultant while he was “preparing for my successful appeal last year. . . . There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under ‘moneys owed’ and not on any other list.”
Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News
Francisco Cervelli admits documents tying him to clinic are legit while A-Rod cries foul.
Braun also said in his statement that he would “fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter,” raising the question of whether he could possibly link players to Bosch, although according to Yahoo!, Braun’s attorney, Chris Lyons, was mentioned multiple times in Bosch’s notes. Lyons, who declined comment when reached by The News, is believed to have had prior dealings with Bosch.
David Cornwell, Braun’s lead attorney for his appeal last year, seemed to be distancing himself from the current matter when he issued a statement Tuesday asserting that Bosch’s contributions were “negligible.”
Wednesday, Cervelli declined comment as he exited the team’s Tampa complex, waving as he drove away. His agent did not return a Daily News call seeking comment. But on Tuesday, he defended himself on his Twitter account. “Following my foot injury in March 2011, I consulted with a number of experts, including BioGenesis Clinic, for legal ways to aid my rehab and recovery,” Cervelli tweeted. “I purchased supplements that I am certain were not prohibited by Major League Baseball.”
Braun and the other players linked to Bosch through notes and documents will be interviewed by MLB, although that process is not believed to have begun.
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Also Wednesday, Sports Illustrated reported on its website that Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta is named in Bosch’s records, according to sources familiar with the documents.
Peralta responded through attorney Barry Boss, saying he’s never used PEDs — “and anyone who says otherwise is lying.”
Dillip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Ryan Braun admits he dealt with Anthony Bosch as a consultant, but denies getting PEDs.
Peralta brings to 12 the number of baseball players connected to Bosch’s notes, and adds to one of the two threads that have emerged in the Biogenesis case: Peralta is the fifth client of the ACES agency of Seth and Sam Levinson to be associated with Juan Nunez, a former runner for the agency, and be connected to clinic records.
Previous ACES clients named in reports are Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero and Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera. Nunez was banned by baseball after he was tied to Cabrera’s attempt to stage a website selling a fake PED.
The Levinsons, who represent Montero and Cabrera, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that they do not know anyone at Biogenesis. On Wednesday, the Levinsons said the following in a statement: “Anyone who knows us, knows that it is absolutely ridiculous to think that we would ever condone the use of performance-enhancing drugs. We are not involved and do not have any knowledge as to what took place or who was allegedly involved.”
The Levinsons said Nunez stopped working for ACES when they learned of the web page fiasco.
Rodriguez, 37, is rehabbing from January hip surgery, so a potential suspension handed down by MLB wouldn’t have much of an impact on the Yankees’ first-half plans.
That’s not the case with Cervelli, who will battle Chris Stewart, Austin Romine and minor-league invitee Bobby Wilson to be the starting catcher. Cervelli is believed to have the advantage going into camp, although this controversy might impact his chances.
After spending much of the 2009-2011 seasons as the Yankees’ backup, Cervelli was shockingly sent down on the final day of spring training last year after the Bombers acquired Stewart from the Giants. Cervelli hit .246 in 99 games at Triple-A before being called up in September.
Yanks general manager Brian Cashman declined to say whether Cervelli’s involvement could affect his on-field situation. “I’ll have no comment until MLB finishes its investigation,” he said.
— With Anthony McCarron in Tampa