MIAMI - Since he joined the Washington Nationals, Gio Gonzalez has been perhaps the most bubbly and affable presence in the clubhouse. The team's southpaw all-star wore his emotions openly, usually with a wide smile, and helped guide the Nationals to a division title with his career season.
But Gonzalez, 27, has maintained a low profile since a report published Tuesday linked Gonzalez and others to an anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., that is under investigation by Major League Baseball as an alleged supplier of performance-enhancing drugs. A frequent user of social media, Gonzalez has sent out only two tweets in five days, denying his connection to the clinic's owner and any performance-enhancing drugs.
"I don't know, for whatever reason he doesn't choose to talk at the moment," said Abraham Ruiz, a close friend of Gonzalez since high school and his frequent barber in South Florida. "My job as a friend is to be there for him in this tough time. I'm sure, eventually, when the time is right, Gio will talk."
A lengthy Miami New Times investigation published Tuesday linked Gonzalez and some of baseball's biggest names, such as Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and Melky Cabrera of the Toronto Blue Jays, to a Coral Gables clinic named Biogenesis and the facility's chief, Anthony Bosch, who allegedly provided some of them banned drugs such as human growth hormone and testosterone.
According to Bosch's handwritten notes and files provided to the alternative weekly, Gonzalez is tied to substances listed as zinc, MIC, Aminorip and a "pink cream," which is described as containing testosterone.
Jimmy Goins, a University of Miami strength coach who worked with the school's baseball team, also appears in Bosch's notes cited by the New Times report for purchases of Anavar, testosterone, Winstrol and HGH. Gonzalez, a Miami area resident and native, trained at the university during the offseason. In early November, he posted a photo on Instagram of Goins and himself with the caption, "My offseason strength coach Jimmy Goins."
Goins was suspended by the university, according to a report in the Miami Herald. A reporter visited the campus around the times Gonzalez normally trains at the university's facilities but couldn't find him. Goins declined to comment, and questions about Goins and Gonzalez were referred to the university's athletic department spokesman, Chris Freet, who provided a written statement.
"We cannot comment further while we review reports regarding one of our employees," Freet wrote.
Goins's attorney, Gordon Fenderson, denied any wrongdoing by his client. When asked about Goins's relationship with Gonzalez, Fenderson said he wasn't aware of it.