Aug 09, 2014 06:47 AM EDT
Former Miami Pitching Coach Charged in Biogenesis Steroid Scandal (UPDATE)
Lazaro (Lazer) Collazo, the former long-time University of Miami pitching coach, has been charged for alleged illegal distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to minors, professional athletes and others.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer and DEA Special Agent Mark Trouville branded Collazo as a "recruiter for Anthony Bosch" - the Biogenesis founder who has also been arrested and charged. Using his influence in the football community, the 50-year-old coach lured young athletes to see Bosch for illegal drugs.
"Prior to starting these illegal PED programs, these underage athletes (South Florida) were never examined by a licensed medical professional in connection with the treatment they received from Bosch," said Ferrer, NY Daily News reports.
Ferrer said that the youths, aged between 15 and 17 years, paid between $250 and $600 a month for these PEDs.
During investigations into the scandal, Bosch admitted to selling performance-enhancing drugs to at least 18 minors and that the majority of those drugs were purchased on the black market.
Trouville said that these youngsters were unaware of "what they were putting into their bodies" as PEDs in the black market are prepared by those with dangerously limited knowledge of chemistry.
Although Collazo was responsible for selling the drugs in Miami, Bosch's business soon found its way into the Dominican Republic; where he, his business partner Carlos Acevedo and Alex Rodriguez's cousin Yuri Sucart supplied Dominican teenagers with illegal drugs including "testosterone-loaded syringes"
Ferrer said that the Dominican business targeted baseball players aged between 12 and 17 years, who prepare for the June amateur baseball draft with a dream of being drafted by a major league team.
"These defendants endangered the health of these teenagers with the aim of profiting upon the drafting of one of these prospects and teenagers," said Ferrer.
Collazo's attorney John Ruiz said that he would plead "not guilty" to the charges against him.
"I've never known him to do anything of that sort with high school players. Obviously we're going to cooperate and volunteer to have him surrender," Ruiz said.
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