A-Rod was given permission to use PED’s, according to new book

  • RBTS Staff
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(Credit: Fox Sports)

The following is an excerpt from Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era, by Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts. The story will appear in the July 7th issue of Sports Illustrated.

From his junior year of high school there had been suspicions — and, in the case of his 2003 MVP season, proof by way of a failed steroid test that came to light six years later — that Rodriguez used PEDs. In August 2013, Major League Baseball suspended Rodriguez for 211 games for multiple violations of its PED policy, a decision he appealed last fall. A transcript of a confidential arbitration hearing obtained by the authors of this book suggests that Rodriguez put up those monster numbers in 2007 with the help of a powerful anabolic steroid.

Under baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy, players can apply for a so-called therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to take certain medical substances otherwise banned by MLB. A doctor appointed by both sides—the independent program administrator (IPA) — reviews all applications. Baseball also has an expert medical panel to advise the IPA. If an exemption is granted, the player cannot be punished for using that substance. The exemption is good for one year.

Before the 2007 season, Rodriguez asked for permission to use testosterone, which has been banned by baseball since 2003. The IPA in ’07 was Bryan W. Smith, a High Point, N.C., physician. (Baseball did not yet have the advisory medical panel.) On Feb. 16, 2007, two days before Rodriguez reported to spring training, Smith granted the exemption, allowing Rodriguez to use testosterone all season.

The exemption was revealed in a transcript of Rodriguez’s fall 2013 grievance hearing. During that proceeding, MLB entered into evidence several exemptions applied for by Rodriguez during his Yankees tenure. In his testimony, MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred called testosterone “the mother of all anabolics” and said that exemptions for the substance are “very rare,” partly because “some people who have been involved in this field feel that with a young male, healthy young male, the most likely cause of low testosterone requiring this type of therapy would be prior steroid abuse.”

Honestly, I don’t think anyone will be surprised by this, as A-Rod began working with accused PED provider Tony Bosch shortly after the 2007 season. The book is currently available for purchase, and goes into much greater detail about the situation.

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