Cooperation nets sentence cut for baseball drug clinic owner

MIAMI (AP) The former owner of a South Florida clinic at the center of a Major League Baseball steroids scandal that swept up New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez will get out of prison more than a year early because of his extensive cooperation with prosecutors, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles granted prosecutors' request to cut Anthony Bosch's four-year sentence by 16 months, or about a third off. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharad Motiani said Bosch, who ran the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables, revealed key evidence against at least four other people including a self-style chemist who supplied drugs made in his suburban garage and a sports agent who recruited players.

''He provided us with vital information that led to the prosecution of various defendants,'' Motiani said at a hearing.

That included going through hundreds of pages of medical records involving baseball players, poring over text messages and emails and deciphering coded words used to describe banned performance-enhancing drugs and transactions involving them, Motiani said.

''If there was coded language that was used, he would tell us what that meant,'' the prosecutor said.

Bosch, 52, is now likely to get out of prison later this year, according to Bureau of Prisons records. His attorney, Susy Ribero-Ayala, said Bosch has been undergoing treatment for his own chronic drug abuse, attending counseling sessions with family members and even teaching high-school equivalency courses at a prison in Montgomery, Alabama.

''He's made his time in prison meaningful and he's been very active,'' Ribero-Ayala said.

Bosch pleaded guilty in October 2014 to conspiracy to distribute testosterone, one of eight people convicted in the Biogenesis case. Evidence showed that Bosch falsely held himself out as a licensed medical doctor, accepting thousands of dollars a month to provide steroid injections to baseball players such as Rodriguez and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Fourteen players linked to Biogenesis were suspended by MLB, including a season-long suspension in 2014 imposed on Rodriguez. A-Rod initially denied taking banned substances supplied by Biogenesis but later admitted he did, apologizing to Yankee fans in a handwritten letter.

His lawyers say Bosch also provided key information about Rodriguez's use of banned substances to MLB investigators. No players were charged with crimes.

Rodriguez resumed his Yankees career last year and reached several milestones, surpassing the 3,000-hit and 2000-RBI plateaus and becoming No. 4 in all-time home runs with 678.

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Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt

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