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RUINED
Posted January 31st, 2013

If allegations of further PED-use prove true, Alex Rodriguez will leave a legacy of shame behind him in the big leagues

BY CHAYIM TAUBER

Alex Rodriguez claims new reports that he used PEDs between 2009 and 2012 are fallacious and that he has not touched performance enhancers despite appearing 16 times on an alleged paper trail left by PED-peddling Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch of Miami.

Rodriguez released a statement through PR firm Citrick and Company, “The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true,” the statement says. “Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”

ESPN NEWYORK has reported that baseball sources have intimated to them that if Major League Baseball disciplines Rodriguez for PED use, the Yankees will explore avenues to void the remaining five years and $114 million left on his contract for violation of his contract and misrepresentation.

It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Yankees as Major League Baseball and the Player’s Union agreed to a joint collective bargaining agreement that prohibits teams from disciplining players already disciplined by MLB for drug offenses. Unless there’s specific language in the contract forbidding A-rod from using PEDs or using someone other than the Yankees medical staff, the Yankees may be stuck him. The Yankees explored voiding Jason Giambi’s contract in 2004 when he was embroiled in the BALCO scandal but were ultimately unsuccessful.

It’s worth noting that should Alex Rodriguez retire, the Yankees have his contract insured up to 85 percent. However, if the allegations end up being true, far less than 85 percent of A-Rod’s reputation will remain in tact. The Yankees 2009 World Championship will also carry a taint, as the club was led to the promised land by the slugger’s prodigious effort.

It was just three weeks ago that steroids and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) were at the forefront of baseball’s conscience as the BBWA elected not to vote any of the alleged or suspected PED users into baseball’s Hall of Fame.The Miami New Times released the report that brought PEDs back to the forefront and which connects several players to a Miami clinic that provided performance enhancers to athletes.

The Miami New Times claim to have obtained a list of athlete/clients from an employee who worked at the clinic (Biogenesis of America) before it closed last month. The list not only names clients and their “prescriptions” but also shows that the firm sold all manner of performance enhancing drugs from HGH to artificial testosterone and anabolic steroids.

In addition to A-Rod, players on that list include past PED users Bartolo Colon (suspended last season), Melky Cabrera (suspended last season) and Yasmani Grandal (suspended last season). Other names on the list are Gio Gonzalez, the 21 game-winner for Washington who finished third in Cy Young voting last season and Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz.

Biogenesis of America is run by 49-year-old Anthony Bosch, a man connected to Manny Ramirez when he was suspended 50 games by MLB for performance enhancers back in 2009. The list acquired by the Miami New Times has notations from Bosch by different players’ names regarding their individual and specialized regimens. There are dates, bills, and specific drug cocktails mentioned in the papers by the players name.

“He sold HGH and steroids, everyone who worked there knew that was what our business was,” said the former secretary of Biogenesis.

Bosch did not make himself available to the New Times for comment on January 27, but informed them that his lawyer would be made available at a later date. Likewise, the players mentioned in the report were all contacted by the New Times; none responded.

The considerably stricter post-Mitchell Report MLB promised to investigate the matter thoroughly and released a lengthy statement to that effect.

“We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances,” the statement begins. “These developments, however, provide evidence of the comprehensive nature of our anti-drug efforts. Through our Department of Investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in South Florida. It is also important to note that three of the players allegedly involved have already been disciplined under the Joint Drug Program.”

The Yankees have issued a statement that they stand firmly behind MLB in their investigation and that their loyalties lie with the league in cleaning up this mess. The Texas Rangers, declined comment altogether. Gio Gonzalez, the biggest name on the list without a prior history of PEDs, patently denies the allegations despite appearing on the list five times.

“I’ve never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind, and I never will,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “I’ve never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substances provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie.”

“As clean as apple pie,” is how his father, also on the Biogenesis client list, describes Gio.

Stay tuned to see if the Miami New Times story checks out.