A chemist working out of his suburban South Florida garage has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for supplying banned performance-enhancing substances to a clinic whose customers included professional baseball players and other athletes.
A Miami federal judge imposed the sentence Wednesday on Paulo Berejuk, who pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to distribute testosterone. Berejuk faces deportation to his native Brazil after prison.
Investigators said Berejuk was the key drug source for Anthony Bosch, who ran the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic that provided steroids to baseball players and other athletes. One customer was New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, who recently apologized to fans for his actions.
The doping scandal resulted in suspensions last year for 14 professional baseball players and criminal convictions for Bosch and others.
In 2013, Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from Coral Gables anti-aging clinic Biogenesis of America and its operator, Anthony Bosch. Several other Bosch associates are named in the lawsuit. A phone message left for a Bosch representative wasn't immediately returned.
MLB contends the clinic's operators solicited players to use banned substances knowing that violated their contracts. The lawsuit says baseball has suffered costs to investigate the claims, loss of revenue and injury to its reputation among fans.
Last November, New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez admitted to federal investigators he used steroids supplied by the owner of a now-closed South Florida clinic.
Attorney Frank Quintero Jr., who represents Lazaro "Laser" Collazo in his defense against charges of conspiracy to distribute performance-enhancing drugs, told The Associated Press that the New York Yankees third baseman confessed to steroids use, according to Drug Enforcement Administration documents provided by the government to defense lawyers.
The Miami Herald first reported Rodriguez's admission saying he met with DEA agents on Jan. 29 at the agency's South Florida field office. Given a grant of immunity from prosecution, Rodriguez told investigators he did use banned substances between late 2010 and October 2012 supplied by Anthony Bosch, who owned the Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables.