A-Rod denies PED use report; MLB investigates
Alex Rodriguez was again ensnared in a doping investigation Tuesday when an alternative weekly newspaper reported baseball's highest-paid player was among six players listed in records of a Florida clinic the paper said sold performance-enhancing drugs.
The Miami New Times said the three-time American League MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Cables, Fla.
The public relations firm for the Yankees third baseman issued a statement denying the allegations.ESPN reported that the Yankees are exploring avenues to void Rodriguez's contract, which has five years and $114 million remaining.
The New Times said it obtained records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon and 2011 AL Championship Series MVP Nelson Cruz of Texas.
Cabrera signed with Toronto in the offseason, while Oakland re-signed Colon. Other baseball players the newspaper said appeared in the records include Washington pitcher Gio Gonzalez and San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Biogenesis, which the New Times said was run by Anthony Bosch, was located in a nondescript office park. The clinic is no longer listed as a business in its directory.
“There was a flier put out by the building management a couple weeks ago. It was put on all the doors and windows of all the offices,” said Brad Nickel, who works in a group cruise planning company on the floor above where the clinic was located. “It just said this guy's not really a doctor, he doesn't belong here, he's no longer allowed here, call the police or the building management if you see him.”
The New Times posted copies of what it said were Bosch's handwritten records, obtained through a former Biogenesis employee.
Rodriguez appears 16 times in the documents it received, the paper said, either as “Alex Rodriguez,” “Alex Rod” or the nickname “Cacique,” a pre-Columbian Caribbean chief.
Rodriguez admitted four years ago that he used PEDs from 2001-03. Cabrera, Colon and Grandal were suspended for 50 games last year by MLB following tests for elevated testosterone. Responding to the testosterone use, MLB and the players' union said Jan. 10 they were authorizing the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory outside Montreal to store each major leaguer's baseline testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio to detect abnormalities.
“We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances,” MLB said in a statement. “We are in the midst of an active investigation and are gathering and reviewing information.”
A baseball official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements, said MLB did not have any documentation regarding the allegations. If MLB does obtain evidence, the players could be subject to discipline. First offenses result in a 50-game suspension and second infractions in 100-game penalties. A third violation results in a lifetime ban.
Rodriguez is sidelined for at least the first half of the season after hip surgery Jan. 16.