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January 29, 2013

Report links Nelson Cruz to performance-enhancing drugs

Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz is one of several players mentioned as a client of an alleged dealer of performance-enhancing drugs in report published by the Miami New Times.

The report details that Cruz, who was nicknamed Mohamad by the head of an anti-aging clinic in Miami, purchased $4,000 of supplements as recently as July 2012. The clinic's chief, Anthony Bosch, wrote in his ledger about Cruz, according to the report, "Need to call him, go Thur to Texas, take meds from April 5-May 5, will owe him troches and... and will infuse them in May."

"Troches," the report states, are lozenges that are 15 percent testosterone. Major League Baseball recently has stiffened its testing for testosterone after multiple players were caught with elevated amounts of it in 2012.

The Rangers released the following statement:

"The Texas Rangers were contacted late last week by Miami New Times regarding the story posted this morning. At that time, the Rangers contacted Major League Baseball on that inquiry. 
The team has no further comment."

Cruz has 130 home runs in his career, and 108 since becoming an everyday player the past four seasons. He lost more than 20 pounds last off-season because of a stomach virus that forced him to leave the Dominican Republic for Miami to receive proper treatment. He spent the rest of the off-season working out in Miami, and was about 10 to 15 pounds lighter than usual at the start of spring training.

Cruz played in a career-high 159 games, but hit only 24 homers after swatting 29 in 124 games in 2011. However, he set career-highs with 45 doubles and 90 RBIs.

Though he hasn't tested positive for PEDs, Cruz could face a 50-game suspension if the allegations in the New Times report are confirmed. If Cruz is banned, Mike Olt could help replace him in right field.

-- Jeff Wilson



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