Although the University of Miami is still conducting its own investigation, sources said school officials are under the impression that no Hurricanes received performance-enhancing drugs from strength and conditioning coach Jimmy Goins.
If that’s the case, sources said, then UM would not be at risk of NCAA punishment. Furthermore, one former UM baseball player said Goins received treatment at a Coral Gables anti-aging clinic that allegedly distributed PEDs because of a medical condition and has the paperwork to prove it.
“He has complete paperwork and documents to back it up and prove he was not there illegally or to buy stuff to sell or anything in that matter,” said Kyle Bellamy, a former UM pitcher who is now in the Chicago White Sox organization. “There’s no doubt in his mind his name will be cleared.”
Goins has been suspended by UM in the wake of a report that linked him and some professional athletes, including baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez, to the Coral Gables anti-aging clinic that allegedly distributed PEDs.
Although sources said Major League Baseball investigators have spent time on the UM campus, the ongoing probe covers much of South Florida as league and federal law enforcement officials seek to get to the bottom of a PED scandal that could take months to resolve.
One source, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said the investigation hasn’t even reached a point where busted players such as Melky Cabrera and Yasmani Grandal have been asked to provide some details, including identifying their supplier.
The names of Cabrera, Grandal and Bartolo Colon — big-leaguers who received 50-day suspensions last season for PED violations — showed up in a treatment log belonging to Coral Gables clinic operator Anthony Bosch, according to a Miami New Times report.
Other names found in the handwritten log include Rodriguez and Gio Gonzalez, a Hialeah native and All-Star pitcher for the Washington Nationals. Both have vehemently denied any connection to Bosch.
Sources said MLB started looking at South Florida as a PED hot spot ever since the end of the 2011 season, when ex-UM star Ryan Braun tested positive for testosterone. Braun was later exonerated. When Cabrera, Colon and Grandal — all players with local ties — also tested positive during the 2012 season, MLB descended on the region.
“It started to grow last summer,” said one source with knowledge of the investigation.
At the same time that investigators were digging for information in South Florida, the league and players’ union in January announced a new agreement that created a more stringent testing program for testosterone and human growth hormone.
The league can now conduct random blood tests on players throughout the season.
“We think that the changes will dramatically increase the effectiveness of our program,” said Rob Manfred, executive vice president for MLB. “We think, on the testosterone program in particular, we have the best testing program in the world.”
There were 18 positives — the most since 2007 — during the 2011-12 offseason and season. Many of those were for testosterone. Sources said some players were using a fast-acting topical testosterone that left the system within 24 hours.
Although Major League Baseball is cracking down even harder on drug cheats, one of the nation’s top authorities on performance-enhancing drugs in sports said he doesn’t think baseball is anywhere close to eliminating the problem.
“I think any sportswriter that would use the term ‘post-steroid era’ or ‘post-growth hormone era’ is a damn fool,” said Dr. Charles Yesalis, one of the nation’s top experts on PEDs.
Yesalis has testified three times before Congress on PEDs.
Said one agent who represents more than a dozen players: “These ballplayers are smarter than we are.”
Bellamy, who has been in regular contact with Goins, said that he is convinced Goins is no cheater.