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DEA investigates doctor who wrote Manny Ramirez's prescription

Pedro Publio Bosch, 71, of Miami is at the center of the inquiry. Baseball is aware of the investigation, a spokesman for the major leagues says.

June 26, 2009|Dylan Hernandez and Josh Meyer

ALBUQUERQUE AND WASHINGTON — The South Florida doctor who wrote Manny Ramirez a prescription for the female fertility drug that resulted in the All-Star outfielder's 50-game suspension is under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Major League Baseball President Bob DuPuy said on Thursday that baseball is aware of the investigation and is working with the DEA.

Pedro Publio Bosch, 71, is the Coral Gables doctor at the center of the federal inquiry, according to a source familiar with the investigation who was not authorized to discuss it. Bosch's son, Anthony Bosch, 45, is believed to have worked as a contact between the doctor and Ramirez.

Agents and former players in the large but tightknit South Florida baseball community say Anthony Bosch frequently attended parties and other social events hosted by big league players.

The DEA is looking to see if the source of Ramirez's prescription illegally procured prescriptions for others, a source told The Times.

Pedro Bosch did not immediately respond to a message left for him at his office and home.

Ramirez, who was preparing himself for his return to the Dodgers' lineup with the team's triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque, did not speak to reporters on Thursday.

Word of the probe was first reported by ESPN.com.

A federal law enforcement official also familiar with the probe confirmed that the DEA has opened a preliminary investigation into the elder Bosch, but said it was "a little premature" to call it a full-scale formal investigation.

"There are some administrative steps that you go through in order to determine if we are actually going to open an investigation. We are just gathering some things to see if an investigation should be opened," said the federal official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

One step taken so far is that authorities have issued administrative subpoenas, asking for the doctor's records, the official said.

"We haven't even begun to do an investigation so we don't know which [DEA] office would get involved. Just because the doctor is in Miami doesn't mean they would be the ones to get involved," said the official. "We don't even know what we have yet."

Baseball suspended Ramirez on May 7 based on his prescription for HCG. However, the drug test that Ramirez took in spring training found no trace of the banned substance in his system.

Ramirez's test was flagged for having an unusually high level of synthetic testosterone, which anti-doping experts said was likely an indication of steroid use.

Ramirez was prepared to appeal the test results, but baseball officials obtained his medical records and discovered the prescription for HCG. Baseball suspended Ramirez for "just cause" based on "non-analytical evidence" and for which a "therapeutic use" exemption was available but never requested.

The outfielder has refused to say whether he used steroids or offer any details of what led to his suspension.

Ramirez is eligible to return to the Dodgers on July 3, for which he is preparing himself by playing in the minor leagues. The first two games of his warmup tour drew standing-room-only crowds to Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, home of the Dodgers' triple-A affiliate. He didn't play on Thursday because the field was hit by heavy rains.

Ramirez avoided reporters on Thursday, asking the Isotopes to limit pregame media access to the clubhouse.

Ramirez is expected to return to Los Angeles today. He is scheduled to play for Class-A Inland Empire in Lake Elsinore on Saturday and in San Bernardino from Sunday through Tuesday.

Sun-Sentinel staff writer Bob LaMendola and Times staff writers Kevin Baxter and Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

josh.meyer@latimes.com

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