Gonzalez maintains he hasn’t used PEDs

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.

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