Thursday, August 1, 2013

Interview with TJ Quinn: Some of The Highlights

Steve Lloyd and I interviewed TJ Quinn recently on my radio show Offside. TJ is an investigative reporter with ESPN's Outside The Lines and has done a terrific story breaking a lot of stories in connection with Biogenesis.

Here's a transcript of some of his interesting comments:

MLB Player Reaction to Braun Suspension

My colleagues have reported being overwhelmed at how many guys came up and said they were happy that he got nailed. People were furious. It’s one thing to lie about it. It’s one thing to make a snide accusation that somehow the sample collector was to blame and was out to get him. Players have been saying he made us lie; we defended him and he let us do it. So you have the indignancy of being asked to lie for somebody - and on top of that there has been a real cultural change in our players see this. There is sizable majority that want to see drugs out of the game and want to see cheaters punished.

On Tony Bosch being a doctor

He says he went to medical school in Belize and he has a degree in his office. He is not an MD and certainly has never held a license to practice medicine.

On Porter Fisher’s importance

He is the one that unravelled Biogenesis publicly. We have been working on this since last August. Sometime a few months later, Fisher, who had been a client of Biogenesis and then became an investor and then quickly became an unhappy investor, had it with Tony Bosch. Bosch owed him $3600, Porter asked for it, and Bosch said he wouldn’t pay him. So after that, Fisher went to the Miami New Times with 4 boxes of [Biogensis] documents.

On whether Fisher initially believed Bosch’s activities were legitimate

He says that he believed they were perfectly legitimate. He called himself a doctor, he had a degree on the wall and everyone called him Doctor T. He even had a lab coat – how much more official does it get than that.

He had no reason to doubt him. He also said at the outset he was unaware there was a performance enhancement part to Bosch’s practice. He knew of the weight loss component as he had been a client of Bosch. Then he figured it out after looking at the books.

On whether Fisher tried to blackmail Bosch

He denies that ever happened. When I asked him that question on camera he suggested he would pursued it in any event. He believed that someone had to look at Tony Bosch. Whatever his motivation, one thing that did seem clear was that he wasn’t looking for attention and he wasn’t really looking to do anything about the athletes. He said he didn’t really know who most of the athletes were when he got the documents. He wasn’t much of a sports fan. The only names he recognized were Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera. He took the stuff about to the Miami New Times more concerned about with the names lawyers, judges and local law enforcement thinking they would jump on that. When the Miami New Times reviewed the documents, they figured out quickly how many athletes there were.

There have been a lot of smears against Fisher and a lot of parties interested in discrediting him and saying he wanted money for the documents. Based on everything we have seen, (and we have done a lot of reporting to check him out) he never did. When he went to the Miami New Times they said he never asked for money. He didn’t go to major league baseball and ask for money.

On NBA players being connected to Biogenesis

According to Porter – yes. I don’t know the names of anybody involved. He has indicated that they aren’t major names. He knows about a dozen athletes from outside of major league baseball across 6 sports. So obviously the numbers aren’t overwhelming for any one of those sports. But that also only covers a very short period of time where he had access to documents. He estimates that Bosch worked with over 100 athletes if you go back a few years.

So he may have had a few clients from other sports but it doesn’t sound like he had a major operation in those sports like he did in baseball.

On Rodriguez’s longstanding relationship with Bosch

It goes back years. Bosch had a different relationship with Arod. He got the personal treatment that others did not. He generally used couriers for other athletes like Ryan Braun. But Bosch would go to Arod’s house and inject him there. He once went to his house and was trying to get into a vein. He couldn’t hit the vein and Arod was bleeding all over his house and got furious at Bosch and kicked him out of the house. Bosch was worried he was done and was going to fire him. For years it was more than just casual contact.

On Rodriguez declaring he wants to be a role model

There seems to be a disconnect between what he thinks he can do to restore his image and where his image really is. Unless he can show a massive conspiracy by Tony Bosch to get him, he’s cooked. Baseball had an expectation (on the evidence) and Bosch exceeded it.

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