PED Investigation Closing In On A-Rod

Published on: 6th February, 2013

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PED Investigation Closing In On A-Rod  | read this item

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New York — Alex Rodriguez is taking his wildest swing yet in his fight against steroid allegations: The Yankees and MLB are conspiring to push him out of the game.

Sources say the embattled Yankee star is “scared” that bigger forces are at work to try to discredit him and sink his career. Holed up in Miami, Rodriguez has been huddling with an army of lawyers and PR people as the performance-enhancing drug scandal enveloping him intensifies.

“He’s scared, because he thinks this is so unbelievably false, and he’s wondering who could be behind this,” said a source, referring to last week’s Miami New Times report linking A-Rod to an alleged Miami-area performance-enhancing drug scandal. “He thinks something could be going on larger than anyone might think.”

The source added that Rodriguez is wondering if the Yankees or even Major League Baseball are behind the latest controversy.

A-Rod’s concerns intensified as agents from MLB’s Department of Investigations met in Miami Monday with editors of Miami New Times, a weekly newspaper that posted hand-written records and files last Tuesday linking Rodriguez and several other players to Anthony Bosch, a self-described “biochemist” who is being investigated by baseball and federal authorities for possibly providing performance-enhancing drugs to the players.

Two sources said the MLB agents examined the notes and documents and are hopeful the newspaper will turn them over to investigators. The dates and notations in the notes could possibly lead to corroborating evidence of drug use.

Rodriguez, 37, had been rehabilitating his left hip after January surgery — his second such procedure in four years — when the Daily News first reported on Jan. 26 his links to Bosch and an investigation into Bosch’s possible ties to performance-enhancing drugs.

Three days later, the New Times report named Rodriguez and the other players — including Blue Jay Melky Cabrera, Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon and Nelson Cruz — as having drug ties to Bosch and his now-shuttered Miami clinic, Biogenesis.

The newspaper posted hand-written records and files that it claimed had been compiled by Bosch. The documents purportedly showed how much each player paid Bosch for drugs, and even listed nicknames Bosch used for his famous clients, including one for A-Rod — “Cacique.”

An ESPN report Friday said Bosch had personally injected Rodriguez with steroids and human growth hormone at the player’s Miami waterfront mansion as recently as 2012.

Rodriguez is deeply concerned about the allegations, according to the source, and has told friends that the documents linking him to Bosch are forgeries. Rodriguez has repeatedly denied the PED allegations through a spokesman who declined further comment on Monday.

Rodriguez might contend that the listings of the drugs allegedly dispensed to him and the other players are forgeries, but they do line up closely with dates of specific games and cities the games were played in, giving MLB something of a blueprint for linking Bosch and the drugs to A-Rod and the other players. Bosch has denied the claims in the reports through his Miami lawyer.

In addition to examining the New Times documents, MLB also plans to interview the players named in the report — including Rodriguez — but interview dates have not been scheduled.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating Bosch as well, according to law enforcement sources, although a DEA spokeswoman told The News on Monday that she cannot “confirm or deny” the existence of a probe.

Sources have told The News that Rodriguez’s career in pinstripes may be over, even if the new claims can’t be proven. Rodriguez’s return from the hip surgery could leave the third baseman in such a diminished physical state that he could be forced to retire or possibly agree to a settlement.

A-Rod is owed $114 million plus a multitude of performance bonuses and has five years left on his contract.

The Yankees have so far stayed away from commenting on the allegations facing Rodriguez, but at a “Hot Stove” session in Times Square to help raise funds for ailing WCBS producer/engineer Carlos Silva Monday night, GM Brian Cashman characterized the situation this way:

“This is an ugly story that we wish didn’t exist, but it’s there,” Cashman said. “We’ll take the time to let it process.”

This article appeared in the NY Daily News on 2/6/13

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