Valencia refutes link to anti-aging clinic
New Orioles infielder: 'I've never ever taken a PED in my life'
SARASOTA, Fla. -- New Oriole Danny Valencia reiterated on Wednesday afternoon that he has never used performance-enhancing drugs after a report earlier this month mentioned Valencia as one of three new names linked to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic alleged to have distributed PEDs to Major League players.
"Basically, I've never had any contact with those people," Valencia said of the Miami-based clinic, which has been linked publicly to about a dozen players. "I've never met [clinic operator] Tony Bosch, never seen him, never been to that clinic, never heard of that clinic until the [Miami] New Times story first broke. That being said, I've never ever taken a PED in my life, never failed a drug test in my life and I never will."
According to the Yahoo! Sports report that implicated Valencia, his name does not appear next to any PEDs on the list, and his name is scratched out on the bottom of the paper. Major League Baseball is currently investigating the clinic.
"When I first got the phone call, I knew I was going to be in the clear, I knew I'm not going to get in trouble because there's nothing they are going to find on me," said Valencia, who said he was shocked when he was told he was listed in connection with the clinic. "I've never done anything. But the only thing that bothered me at the time was how the Orioles organization is going to perceive [it]. I thought about what [executive vice president of baseball operations] Dan Duquette is going to think, obviously what [manager] Buck [Showalter] is going to think, my teammates. That's what matters. That was my first feeling, I felt upset about that."
Valencia, who was acquired from the Red Sox in exchange for cash considerations on Nov. 28, said he called Duquette the next morning to tell his side, and Showalter sat in the back of the room Wednesday while the infielder addressed the media.
"I've learned over the years to wait until they gather everything," Showalter said of the report. "I think there's still a lot of speculation. We'll see. Where I stand, I choose to believe my player … we'll see where it takes us.
"I have a lot of confidence in the people looking over those things. They're looking into them for the right reasons. We'll see when they get through gathering all the facts. I'm sure you'll understand there will be some things that aren't necessarily the way they're necessarily portrayed. We'll see. We'll wait until everything comes in."
Primarily a third baseman, Valencia hit .188 with a .199 on-base percentage and a .299 slugging percentage in 44 games this past season with Boston and Minnesota. He placed third in American League Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2010 and enjoyed his best season in '11, when he hit .246 with 15 home runs and led the Twins with 72 RBIs in 154 games. Valencia also led Major League third basemen that season with 260 assists.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.