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The moment Juan Garcia first walked into Biogenesis, he was sold.
He had visited the Coral Gables clinic on a friend's recommendation for the same reason so many others did: He'd recently hit his late 40s, felt his energy and libido sagging, and wanted to see what Bosch could do for him.
Bosch, his thick hair graying at the edges, strode in wearing a white lab coat with "Dr. Tony Bosch" embroidered over the pocket. Hanging on the wall was a dark-framed, ornately printed medical degree from the Belize City-based Central America Health Sciences University.
"He gave me this pill to take before I go to the gym and said, 'This is the stuff Lance Armstrong takes,' " recalls Garcia, who asked New Times not to use his real name but whose story is confirmed by Bosch's patient records. "I said, 'Whoa, this stuff isn't going to make my balls shrivel up, is it?' He said, 'No, it's fine, don't worry about it.' "
It was the same pitch Bosch gave to many others at his clinic, despite not being licensed to practice medicine in Florida. Garcia was so taken with the place that he soon became an investor and part-owner. His story — along with interviews with more than a half-dozen other patients and ex-employees confirming key information such as the drugs they were prescribed and the business methods at Biogenesis — casts light on the clinic's questionable business.
Biogenesis's history really begins in 2009, when Bosch started a firm, called Colonial Services, based in Key Biscayne.
That same year, on May 7, Major League Baseball suspended L.A. Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez after he tested positive for HCG — a women's fertility drug often used at the end of a steroid cycle to restart testosterone production. Ramirez, who lives in Weston, issued a statement that a "personal doctor" had prescribed a medication he didn't realize would violate the drug code.
Reporters at ESPN quickly identified that doctor: Pedro Bosch, whose son, Anthony, was "well known in Latin American baseball circles," the network reported. "His relationships with players date at least from the earlier part of the decade, when he was seen attending parties with players and known to procure tickets to big-league ballparks, especially in Boston and New York," ESPN wrote.
The DEA was "probing" both Bosches for their role in getting Ramirez the medication, ESPN reported. MLB President Bob DuPuy also confirmed he was "aware" of the investigation and cooperating.
Tony Bosch never responded to the allegations, but in a letter to ESPN, Pedro lashed back two weeks later, claiming that Ramirez was never his patient, that he'd "never prescribed" anyone HCG, and that there was no federal investigation. No charges were ever filed.
(Pedro Bosch was a defendant in an unrelated federal civil case that same year. The U.S. attorney accused him, along with more than two dozen other doctors and a similar number of lab owners, of running a kickback scheme to inflate drug costs. The government withdrew the claims two months later.)
A year after the Ramirez affair, Tony Bosch rented out the space that would become Biogenesis on the ground floor of a white-paneled building on Stanford Drive at South Dixie Highway, just across from UM. A quiet canal burbles behind the building.
The clinic, which started under the name Biokem, built a client list from dozens to hundreds. By 2012, Bosch changed the name again, to Biogenesis. He also began writing new, glowing biographies of himself in his personal notebooks, presumably for use in the clinic's promotional materials.
"Dr. Tony Bosch is recognized as an international educator and world-class leader in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy," reads one description, which also praises him as a "pioneer in orthomolecular medicine" and calls him a "molecular biochemist."
New clients continued flowing in by referral. Jan, a Miami saleswoman who had recently turned 40, went to Bosch in early 2012 as she struggled to keep up her workout regimen while traveling for work. She wasn't charmed by the faux doctor.
"He seemed really edgy and talked to me for only a few minutes," says Jan, whose name New Times also agreed to change but whose story is confirmed by patient records. Bosch hooked her anyway. On the first visit, a nurse gave Jan a vitamin B12 shot, and she "felt like a million bucks," she says. "I couldn't believe how much energy I had. But there [were] diminishing returns. The next time, I asked for another one and it didn't have nearly the same effect. So I wanted to see what else I could get."
Within a month, Bosch had sold her an East German Olympics-worthy regimen: daily shots of B12 mixed with Winstrol, an anabolic steroid; furosemide, an industrial-strength diuretic that forces the body to shed water weight; and regular doses of Anavar, a popular and potent anabolic steroid.
Jan says she was initially freaked out by the regimen — especially the B12/Winstrol mix, which she had to inject straight into her stomach. But she couldn't deny the results. "I felt so good. It was addictive," she says. "Within a month, my arms were hard as a rock, my shoulders were built up — and not in a masculine way. I just felt really good."