TAMPA, Fla. - Alex Rodriguez sat in a tent here Thursday for a news conference and said he was happy.
Happy with how last season went, happy with getting the "humongous gorilla" off his back in helping to win a World Series; happy overall to have put the unpleasantness relating to the overriding topic of last spring behind him.
Not quite on the latter.
The third baseman Monday said he had been contacted by federal authorities in regard to their investigation of Anthony Galea, a Canadian sports medicine doctor who is facing charges in his country, including the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes. In September, Galea's assistant was stopped at the U.S.-Canada border with human growth hormone (HGH) and other drugs.
For Rodriguez, it is an unwelcome jolt back into a world he thought he had started to put behind him last spring, which started with his news conference relating to his use of steroids.
"I'm aware of an investigation and I plan on cooperating," Rodriguez said after the Yankees' workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
The extent of Rodriguez's relationship with Galea is not clear. Mark Lindsay, a chiropractor from Ontario who has worked with Galea, oversaw Rodriguez's rehabilitation from hip surgery performed by Dr. Marc Philippon last year.
Asked if he had ever dealt directly with Galea, Rodriguez said: "I can't get into that. But you'll know within time all at the same time.
"This is about someone else," Rodriguez said later. "I'm going to cooperate as best I can and focus on baseball."
The Yankees distanced themselves from Galea in a statement issued Monday afternoon.
"The New York Yankees have not been contacted with regard to an investigation of Dr. Tony Galea," the statement said. "The Yankees never authorized Dr. Tony Galea to treat Alex Rodriguez nor do we have any knowledge of any such treatment. The Yankees authorized Dr. Marc Philippon to operate on Alex and oversee his rehabilitation. At the request of Dr. Philippon, we also authorized Dr. Mark Lindsay to supervise the daily rehabilitation program established by Dr. Philippon. We will continue to monitor the situation."
Lindsay and Philippon could not be reached for comment.
Rodriguez mostly declined to comment other than to say he had been contacted and would assist in the investigation.
"I can't really get into that," Rodriguez said of what he had been told by authorities. "I know you guys have to ask those questions but I have to speak to those guys first."
Rodriguez said he was not aware of when any interviews would take place. "I'm waiting for instructions," he said.
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes last week was questioned by the FBI regarding treatment he received last year from Galea.
General manager Brian Cashman said he found out Monday morning that Rodriguez had been contacted. He said he wasn't aware of any other Yankees players with whom authorities were interested in talking.
Of Galea, Cashman said, "He's not someone we've done business with," as an organization.
"At this point, I'm not going to comment," Cashman said. "I'm not going to comment at this point because I don't have much to comment off of."
Asked if he was worried about this story hanging over his head for a long period of time and becoming a distraction, Rodriguez said simply: "No."