Alex Rodriguez denies report linking him to PEDs

Alex Rodriguez denied a newspaper report that accused him of buying human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances from a Miami-area clinic. AP video. (Jan. 29)

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Even while recovering from hip surgery, Alex Rodriguez can't avoid controversy.

Rodriguez vehemently disputed a report Tuesday alleging that he purchased performance-enhancing drugs over the last four years.

The allegations came in a story in the Miami New Times, a weekly alternative newspaper in South Florida. Citing documents obtained from a former employee of Biogenesis, a recently shuttered anti-aging clinic in Miami, the paper listed Rodriguez among a bevy of athletes purchasing PEDs. None of the documents have been authenticated.

Major League Baseball is investigating the allegations and the report raises questions about Rodriguez's contract status with the Yankees.

The Yankees, according to a league source, are "exasperated" by the latest A-Rod distraction and would like to extricate themselves from the $114 million they owe the injured third baseman over the next five years.

Even if the allegations turn out to be true, there appears to be little the Yankees could do to void the contract because there is no precedent of any player's contract being voided over a link to PEDs.

Rodriguez could face a suspension from the league. He does not have to fail a drug test to be suspended -- a suspension can occur if conclusive evidence exists linking a player to a banned substance, as agreed to in the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

According to the article, the 37-year-old Rodriguez purchased such banned substances as human growth hormone and testosterone cream from 2009 into last season. In the records, A-Rod's name -- or a nickname -- appears 16 times.

Rodriguez issued a statement through a spokesman that said no such evidence exists, conclusive or otherwise.

"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true," the spokesman said in a statement. "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."

Rodriguez has hired prominent Miami defense attorney Roy Black.

The Yankees could attempt to negotiate a settlement with Rodriguez, who is facing a long rehabilitation from his hip surgery earlier this month.

"We fully support the commissioner's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the Yankees said in a statement. "This matter is now in the hands of the commissioner's office. We will have no further comment until that investigation has concluded."

Another person with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking said the prevailing opinion, given Rodriguez's past, is "where there's smoke, there's fire."

Rodriguez faced that fire in 2009 when he admitted to using PEDs, but said it only occurred between 2001-03.

Rodriguez's cousin, Yuri Sucart, banned from all MLB facilities in 2009 for allegedly supplying him with PEDs from 2001-03, appears in the Biogenesis records, as well, with one of them stating he paid Bosch $500 "for a weeklong supply of HGH" in 2009.

Other players linked to Bosch, a nutritionist, and his clinic in the documents include Melky Cabrera of the Blue Jays, Bartolo Colon of the Athletics, Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals and Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers. Cabrera and Colon both earned suspensions last season for violating MLB's drug policy. Gonzalez emphatically denied any involvement Tuesday.

"We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances," part of an MLB statement read. "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 . . . We are in the midst of an active investigation. We will refrain from further comment until this process is complete."

A process, one MLB official said, that is likely to take a while. A resolution, in other words, isn't coming any time soon.

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