VIERA, Fla. — Gio Gonzalez arrived at spring training with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday and maintained he has not used performance-enhancing drugs.
The Miami New Times reported last month that Gonzalez was among a half-dozen major league players listed as receiving PEDs in purported records of Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. Gonzalez hopes to be exonerated.
“I feel very confident,” the 27-year-old left hander said. “I think that at the end of the day I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I never will.”
Gonzalez, a 21-game winner last year, denied the allegations on Twitter on the day they were reported.
“You’re stunned. You’re shocked,” he said Tuesday. “Your name has been brought up out of nowhere. You can’t do nothing about it. You just have to wait it out and listen to what’s going on. You can’t jump the gun. You can’t jump to conclusions. At the end of the day you just have to listen in and wait patiently.”
Gonzalez said he had been contacted by Major League Baseball officials and has cooperated with their investigation. Gonzalez said he has “done everything that they want, and I feel strong with their program and what they’re doing, and at the end of the day I’m waiting on them.”
Gonzalez’s father, Max, also was listed in the purported Biogenesis records.
“There’s no connection for the fact that I say my father admitted that he was a patient there. A legitimate patient,” the pitcher said. “And then after that, you know how my father is. ... All of south Florida, all of baseball knows that my father is the most proud father in baseball. He tells everyone about his son. And that’s the best I can say. Other than that, I have no clue why my name was on that list, or on a notebook or anything.”
Gonzalez doesn’t want the allegations to be a distraction for his teammates.
“I’m going to do my best to keep it away from the locker room,” he said. “I don’t want any of this to be about me. Again, it’s about the organization and it’s about the team together.”
Teammate Drew Storen said he isn’t worried.
“Gio’s a big part of this team, obviously. He’s always been a big character guy for us,” Storen said. “I think he’ll continue to do that. He’ll come in and be able to separate that stuff out. I think that’s one of the things our clubhouse has been special for, we’re able to cut out the outside factors. . I think we’re going to be in good shape. Gio’s a stand-up, character guy for us in this clubhouse. It’s not going to change a thing.”
Gonzalez said he plans to pitch for the United States in next month’s World Baseball Classic following an invitation from manager Joe Torre. He figures to bolster a rotation missing David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Cain.