Many baseball fans in these parts, still in a stew over his free-agent leap to the Texas Rangers in 2001, have probably spent the past 24 hours cheering the news that former Mariners pariah Alex Rodriguez has been ensnared in another doping investigation first reported by an alternative weekly newspaper in Miami. Rodriguez has denied the allegations, which, if true, will leave his reputation and legacy, now in tatters, in bits.
During spring training four years ago, Rodriguez confessed, in the wake of a Sports Illustrated story, that he had used performance-enhancing drugs during the 2001-03 seasons while he was a member of the Texas Rangers. He insisted he had never used PEDs prior to that time, when he played for the Mariners (1994-2000), nor had he used them as a member of the Yankees from 2006-09.
But the Miami New Times reported in a 5,400-word article Tuesday that Rodriguez’s name shows up 16 times in the records it obtained from an employee at Biogenesis of America, a Florida “wellness clinic” that sold performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, testosterone and anabolic steroids before it closed last month.
According to New Times, those records cover the period 2009-12. The report states that other drugs listed for Rodriguez include IGF-1, a banned substance that stimulates insulin production and muscle growth, GHRP, a substance that releases growth hormones, and testosterone creams. According to the report, clinic owner Anthony Bosch openly bragged of supplying drugs to Rodriguez.
New Times was able to report that information because it obtained some of Bosch’s patient files and personal notebooks.
Rodriguez potentially could be suspended for 50 games – or longer – by Commissioner Bud Selig based on the “just cause” provision in baseball’s newest Joint Drug Agreement.
Sources Tuesday told ESPN and Sports Illustrated that the Yankees, even in advance of MLB documenting the New Times allegations, are investigating ways to void the remaining years on Rodriguez’s contract (he is owed $114 million), although MLB probably won’t allow that.
Even if MLB can’t substantiate the New Times charges, Rodriguez’s reputation has taken another massive hit. At some point, if Rodriguez delivers the mother of all sports confessions/apologies, it won’t help much, based on his past confession.
Consider Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, all of whom sport Hall of Fame statistical credentials. In the 2012 HOF vote, Clemens received 37.6 percent, Bonds 36.2 percent and McGwire 19.9 percent. None received half of the 75 percent required for induction. Even with his denial of using PEDs from 2009-12, Rodriguez put himself squarely in their company.
Who could have imagined 15 years ago, when Rodriguez was a young major leaguer with the Mariners, so bursting with talent and potential, that his career would come to this? Right now, he’s on the verge of becoming one of the three greatest sports liars in American history along with Pete Rose and Lance Armstrong. Isn’t he?
Which is where you come in (comments are encouraged):