VIERA, Fla. -- Gio Gonzalez was informed today he passed drug tests taken two days after the Nationals left-hander was initially linked to a Miami clinic under investigation for providing ballplayers with performance enhancing drugs.
Gonzalez, who has maintained his innocence all along, revealed he gave both blood and urine samples on Jan. 31 at the request of Major League Baseball (which has the right to test any player for whom there is "reasonable cause" to suspect PED use). The players association today informed him those tests came back negative.
“Like I said before, I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs and I never will," Gonzalez said in a brief statement today at Space Coast Stadium. "Two days after the story broke, I was tested for blood and urine, and both came out negative, like I expected. Throughout my entire career, it's been like that. I look forward to handling this with MLB, putting this behind me and looking forward to the season."
Though this doesn't officially close the book on Gonzalez's potential link to the Biogenesis clinic at the center of MLB's investigation, it does move the Cy Young Award finalist one step closer to putting the story behind him with confidence he won't face any punishment from the league.
Gonzalez was among the most prominent names linked to Biogenesis and its chief, Anthony Bosch, in a Jan. 29 report by the Miami New Times. While there has since been growing evidence that other major leaguers did receive PEDs from Bosch, the case against Gonzalez has weakened with several new revelations.
The first was an investigative report by ESPN's "Outside the Lines," published Tuesday night, which cited two independent sources saying Gonzalez did not receive any banned substances from Biogenesis (though he did receive $1,000 worth of legal products). Gonzalez has acknowledged his father, Max, was a client of Bosch's weight-loss clinic, and several of the products named in that ESPN report typically are used for weight loss.
This latest revelation by Gonzalez -- that he was tested two days after the initial Miami New Times report, and those tests came back clean -- bolsters his case further.
Gonzalez, who led the majors with 21 wins last season, is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut for the Nationals on Monday night against the Mets. He's scheduled to pitch for Team USA in the second round of the World Baseball Classic on March 12, if the Americans advance beyond pool play.