In 2005, the two suspensions that had the most obvious bearing on the later Biogenesis scandal hit.

As he treated these UM players-turned-pros, Bosch continued to acquire fresh clients from UM.

A Christopher Columbus High graduate, pitcher Marcelo Albir was an heir to a mop fortune. His father, Carlos, owns the Miami-based ABCO Products. The elder Albir sits on bank boards and is a member of the Nicaraguan American Chamber of Commerce. Marcelo's brother, Carlos Jr., had already seized his corner office in the massive factory, where the walls are covered in highly stylized glossies of the string-topped cleaning implement.

But later, police records indicate Marcelo was no mild-mannered mop magnate. Arrest reports following his graduation from the school describe Albir pushing a Key West waitress as he railed about how much money he had spent at the bar, and another time yelling with friends at the bartender of a Miami-area hotel as they were getting kicked out for belligerence that they wished "they had their pistol with them because they would shoot him." (Neither arrest was prosecuted.)

Such antics were Albir's preferred stress relief even when he was at UM, according to an associate of the team who recalled him narrowly avoiding arrest at a South Beach club after it was explained that Albir was a Hurricane. Albir was close friends with teammate Sanchez, whose nickname among friends was "Hijo" — or "Son" — because he seemed perpetually attached to his father.

Albir and Sanchez were suspended in January 2005, again for those mysterious "university policy" violations. They did not play for the entire season. But the pair was, in fact, suspended after failing tests for PEDs, multiple sources with knowledge of the team confirm. Sanchez didn't respond to multiple requests for comment left with his agent.

Outfielder Kevin Santiago says he, Albir, and Sanchez were among seven players tested on a day in October 2004. Santiago remembers it was the first time the school subjected students to a PED test that wasn't during a College World Series. The students were instructed to give a urine sample in a bathroom adjacent to a trophy room. "I came in when Gaby was in there," Santiago says. "He was sitting in a stall, and it looked like he was trying to buy time."

Some weeks later, the team first heard that Sanchez and Albir were suspended. Santiago says Morris held an all-team meeting. " 'Certain guys have been suspended, and I don't want to say what it was for,' " Santiago says Morris told the team. " 'But I think you know what it was for.'

"The point of the meeting was, 'If you're using something, stop now, because we don't want the program to get into trouble,' " Santiago says.

Pitcher Raudel Alfonso says it was well known that Sanchez and Albir had failed the PED test.

Alfonso "Flaco" Otero was formerly a coach on the Westminster baseball squad and has run baseball camps at UM for more than 20 years. He has known Sanchez since he was 12 and confirms the player was suspended for testing positive for PEDs. "That caught a lot of people by surprise," Otero says. "It was a mistake, and Gaby has moved on." When MLB investigated the program, the league also learned that Sanchez and Albir had failed a test for performance enhancers, according to two MLB officials.

And failing such a test at UM took some skill, says the Hialeah-born Alfonso. "Drug testing was a joke," the former pitcher says. "A plain-out joke." He says athletes were typically informed on a Sunday night that they would have to submit to a test early the next morning at the Hecht Center, the University of Miami's athletic administrative hive. He recalls UM football players speaking openly about using Whizzinators, fake penises designed to fool drug testers. Another option was checking into the hospital with any ailment, which negated the test. Third, if athletes didn't show up at the Hecht Center on time, they were told to go to an outside testing center. So the most common ploy was for ballplayers to give their driver's licenses to similar-looking teammates who were clean and have them urinate at an outside center.

The UM team's steroid reputation was so widespread it even reached players from other colleges. "Everybody knew that the guys from Miami somehow had a connection," says Ryan Patterson, who played for Louisiana State University and then in the Blue Jays and Marlins organizations. But besides the one speech following the suspensions of Albir and Sanchez, Morris and other coaches didn't seem too concerned about getting to the bottom of the problem. "They didn't care," Raudel Alfonso says. "They didn't give a shit."

And neither did major-league scouts, apparently.

The Hurricanes fell flat to end the 2005 season, losing against the Huskers in a game in Lincoln, Nebraska. But a whopping nine UM players were drafted by MLB teams that year. Four of the five players who went in the first ten rounds — Braun and Carrillo, both drafted in the first round, as well as Gaby Sanchez and Israel Chirino — were named in Bosch's records, with Braun and Carrillo destined to be suspended in the Biogenesis case. Those names come as no surprise to teammates like Raudel Alfonso, who says they were all in the team clique surrounded by constant steroid rumors.

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7 comments
glennayamamoto
glennayamamoto

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jaimeejackson
jaimeejackson


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johnjsimpkins


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flasporty
flasporty

How is taking Steroids playing for a Pro team at College any different than cheating on an exam?

theodorecbonk
theodorecbonk

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