Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch told federal investigators earlier this year that top sports agent Scott Boras orchestrated a meeting to help fabricate medical records and concoct a cover story to explain a failed drug test by Boras client Manny Ramirez, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the claims.
Bosch said Boras arranged the meeting after Ramirez tested positive for banned substances in 2009. Boras, according to Bosch, came up with an explanation for the failed test that involved Ramirez accidentally using an elderly uncle's testosterone cream because he thought it was aftershave.
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According to the sources, Bosch made the claims while being debriefed by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The sources said Bosch's accusations were recorded in reports filed with evidence in the federal criminal case against Bosch and others linked to Biogenesis, a South Florida anti-aging clinic that provided performance-enhancing drugs to numerous baseball players.
Bosch is one of eight men who have been arrested on federal charges in connection with Biogenesis. He has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against his co-defendants.
Bosch's allegations about Boras, revealed here for the first time, thrust baseball's most prominent agent into a Biogenesis saga that he has avoided despite formerly representing two of Bosch's most notorious clients: Ramirez and Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Boras, who did not respond to repeated emails and a phone message from Newsday, issued a statement Friday night that read: "I have never met Tony Bosch. I have never talked to Tony Bosch. I have never been to his office or conducted any meetings with him."
Ramirez, then a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and now a player-coach in the Chicago Cubs organization, was a Boras client when he failed a drug test in 2009. It was widely reported, and sources confirmed to Newsday, that Ramirez failed the test because of high testosterone levels. The Major League Baseball Players Association produced records showing that Ramirez had been prescribed medicine by Bosch's father, Dr. Pedro Bosch, who is a licensed Miami doctor.
But the records also showed that Ramirez had been given the women's fertility drug human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which was banned by baseball. MLB suspended Ramirez for 50 games in May 2009.
"In 2009, we received notice of a positive drug test for Manny Ramirez," Boras said in his statement. "It was while investigating that matter we learned about Tony Bosch for the first time. We were told he was a doctor treating Ramirez. One of our staff attorneys reached out to Bosch to obtain his medical records, like we would with any doctor."
When Bosch met with federal agents, he told them that Boras called for the meeting at Pedro Bosch's office after Ramirez failed the drug test. Bosch's father was present at the meeting to act as a witness and because he had a medical license.
Pedro Bosch, when reached by phone, asked a reporter to call him back. He then did not answer his phone.
Anthony Bosch said Boras told him that the MLBPA needed him to produce a patient chart for Ramirez. Bosch responded that he didn't keep records on his patients, so he fabricated a file for the union's use.
Boras, who is a California-based attorney with a doctorate in industrial pharmacology, told Bosch to include hCG, which is commonly used for weight loss, on Ramirez's fabricated patient chart, Bosch said.
Boras apparently believed it wasn't banned by baseball, according to Bosch's account.
Boras also came up with a story, Bosch told the federal agents, about Ramirez's elderly uncle using testosterone cream that resembled aftershave. Bosch added that because Ramirez had a weakness for women, as Boras' story went, one night he unwittingly used his uncle's cream as aftershave, resulting in a failed drug test because of high testosterone levels.
It is unclear whether Ramirez or Boras ever told the elderly uncle story to MLB or union reps. Regardless, Boras' alleged efforts did not matter because hCG had been added to baseball's banned list the previous year, and MLB suspended Ramirez for its use.
In a statement released after his suspension, Ramirez emphasized that he had used a medicine that had been given to him legitimately.
"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue," Ramirez said in the statement. "He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy, that mistake is now my responsibility."
Ramirez could not be reached for comment. Anthony Bosch's criminal defense attorneys did not respond to messages left by Newsday.
"There was no litigation in this matter or statements taken from anyone in our office," Boras said in the statement. "The player was represented by the MLBPA and hired independent counsel to aid in his defense. MLB and the MLBPA then worked out a settlement. We were not a party to those negotiations. Anyone curious about the counsel we gave our client should examine the statement that Ramirez gave the media following his settlement. Ramirez admitted use, and did not offer a legal defense."
A Major League Baseball spokesman declined to say whether Bosch had shared the allegations concerning Boras with MLB investigators when he agreed to testify against Rodriguez last fall.
As Rodriguez's agent, Boras negotiated a 10-year, $252-million deal for the superstar with the Texas Rangers in 2000, which at the time was the most lucrative contract in pro sports. He later helped Rodriguez ink a 10-year, $275-million contract extension with the Yankees in 2007.
Rodriguez and Boras cut ties in the summer of 2010.
Boras has criticized rival agents with clients linked to Biogenesis since the clinic was exposed in a Miami New Times article in January 2013. He has called Bosch a "known pusher" who should be put behind bars, lambasted the media's leaks of names associated with the case, and said he would open a Miami center for athletes to "protect them from the influences of many of these supposed medical practitioners who are availing themselves to the players."
Boras also has criticized ACES, the Brooklyn-based agency that represented several players suspended for Biogenesis ties and employed Juan Carlos Nunez, who has since been arrested for his role in the clinic and charged with conspiracy to distribute testosterone and growth hormone.
"When these things are brought to a player by somebody representing them, that's a grave ethical issue," Boras told USA Today.
ESPN reported in July that the players association was conducting an investigation into agents potentially implicated in the Biogenesis scandal. The "primary targets" of the investigation were ACES and Nez Balelo, the agent representing Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers star suspended for his own ties to Bosch.
Balelo has denied any wrongdoing. The MLBPA and Robert F. Muse, the Washington D.C. attorney said to be in charge of the probe of agents, declined to comment.
During his arbitration testimony against Alex Rodriguez, a transcript of which was filed among the government's evidence, Bosch openly discussed giving Ramirez a PED protocol that included cream, injections and chewable gummies. Bosch said he told Rodriguez that Ramirez's failed test was the result of an injection administered at the wrong time by Ramirez's cousin.
"I basically told him that Mr. Ramirez had tested positive due to not following instructions or directions," Bosch said, according to a copy of the transcript reviewed by Newsday.
Bosch did not mention Boras during that arbitration hearing, according to the transcript.
During his own testimony in the arbitration hearing, MLB's then-chief operating officer Rob Manfred, who will become the commissioner in January, said MLB's investigation into the Ramirez incident was the first time MLB had heard of Anthony Bosch.
"I believe that the union produced to us medical records from" Bosch's father, Manfred testified, according to a transcript obtained by Newsday, "and there were references that came up in our investigation that, you know, there was this father who was a physician and a son that was involved in wellness clinics."