Pirates notebook: Report ties Sanchez to PED use

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ST. LOUIS -- Gaby Sanchez reportedly failed a test for performance-enhancing drugs while at the University of Miami and was named in Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch's records, according to a book excerpt released Thursday in the Miami New Times.

The excerpt from the book, "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era," by New Times reporter Tim Elfrink and Newsday reporter Gus Garcia-Roberts, reports that Sanchez failed a test in October 2004 and was suspended for the Hurricanes' 2005 season. It also said Sanchez's name appeared in Bosch's record books in 2011, when Sanchez played for the Marlins.

Sanchez declined to comment.

"We cannot speak to the points raised in the article as that was nearly a decade ago and have no knowledge of the situation," the Pirates said Thursday in a statement. "What we do know, however, is that Gaby, like every other player in MLB, has been tested multiple times per year since the very strict policies and testing procedures were put in place. Gaby has passed every single time."

MLB began drug-testing with discipline for positive tests in 2004.

Involvement with Bosch's Miami-based Biogenesis anti-aging clinic led to suspensions for Ryan Braun -- Sanchez's teammate in college -- along with Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Rodriguez among others. The news of these associations, broken by a New Times report in January 2013, led to the suspensions in August 2013.

Sanchez's agent, Dan Horwits of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, said Thursday that Sanchez was cleared of wrongdoing by MLB's investigation into Biogenesis.

"There was no link between Gaby and Bosch," said Horwits, who added that Bosch and Sanchez have never met.

Sanchez's name first surfaced in connection with Biogenesis in December, when an ESPN "Outside the Lines" report citing an unidentified source said MLB was investigating Sanchez because his name appeared in the Biogenesis documents. The records indicated that Bosch scheduled a 7 p.m. meeting Oct. 6, 2011, the report said. MLB did not pursue a case because Bosch told MLB Sanchez was not a client, ESPN reported.

Other players, such as Gio Gonzalez, appeared in Bosch's records but were not found to have acquired or used banned substances. An MLB spokesman said Thursday the league does not comment on specific allegations unless announcing a suspension.

The Pirates acquired Sanchez at the trade deadline in 2012.

According to the excerpt, which cites multiple unidentified sources that are confirmed on the record by Alfonso Otero, an area coach who runs camps at Miami and has known Sanchez for years, Sanchez failed a urine test for PEDs in the fall of 2004. He was suspended for the 2005 season, his junior year, but the Marlins selected him in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.

The excerpt cited two MLB officials as saying the league was aware of the positive test. It is not known what substance caused the failed test.

Roster moves

The Pirates recalled outfielder Jaff Decker from Class AAA Indianapolis and optioned right-hander Brandon Cumpton.

Cumpton started Wednesday, making a spot start in Gerrit Cole's place, and allowed four runs in 31/3 innings.

Decker will provide an extra outfield option while Starling Marte is on the bereavement list.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and Twitter @BrinkPG.

First Published July 10, 2014 12:00 AM

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