Valencia’s name is listed on records obtained by Yahoo from a now-defunct clinic named Biogenesis, which the Miami New Times reported last week had provided PEDs to several major leaguers, including New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Major League Baseball has been investigating Biogenesis and its owner, Anthony Bosch.
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Unlike the Miami New Times report, which named Rodriguez, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz and San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, Valencia’s name was not listed in connection to any specific performance-enhancing drugs on the lists obtained by Yahoo.
Late Tuesday night, Valencia released a statement to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
"As any innocent person would be, I am shocked and troubled that my name is in any way connected to this story," Valencia said in the statement. "I have never met or spoken to anyone connected with Biogenesis, in fact I had never even heard of this company prior to the New Times’ story. I take tremendous pride in the hard work and dedication I put into being a professional baseball player and have never taken PEDs or failed a drug test of any kind during my career. I look forward to fully cooperating in MLB’s investigation in any way that I can, and will explore taking legal action if this issue is not resolved in a timely fashion."
A call to an Orioles spokesperson seeking comment was not immediately returned, but one club source indicated that the team is still in the fact-gathering process.
The Orioles acquired Valencia from the Boston Red Sox in November for cash considerations and he enters spring training, which opens a week from today, as a possible right-handed option at designated hitter. Valencia has a .316 career batting average against left-handed pitching.
The Orioles are the third organization for the Miami-born Valencia, 28, since the beginning of the 2012 season. He played in 154 games with the Minnesota Twins in 2011, hitting .248/.294/.383 with 15 home runs and 72 RBIs, but combined to hit .188/.199/.299 in 44 major league games last season between the Twins and Red Sox.
Valencia deepens the clinic’s connection to the University of Miami baseball program. Valencia, Braun, Grandal and minor league pitcher Cesar Carrillo all played collegiately at Miami and have been linked to the clinic.
Braun failed a drug test that found he has elevated testosterone levels caused by a performance-enhancing drug following his MVP season in 2011, but a 50-game suspension was overturned when he won an appeal.