A-Rod's Latest PED Nightmare: What Now?
Though there are a couple of dozen well-known athletes named in yesterday's blockbuster Miami New Times story on Florida "anti-aging" doctor -- i.e. PED dealer -- Anthony Bosch and his now closed Coral Gables clinic, Biogenesis. The player that everyone is focusing on is, predictably, Alex Rodriguez.
Make no mistake: If the implications prove to be true -- namely that A-Rod purchased Human Growth Hormone and other substances from the clinic from 2009 through 2012 -- then Rodriguez's career could be over. The difference between this and the revelation that he used PEDs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003 is that back then the substances weren't banned in the Basic Agreement between players and owners.
In all likelihood, if the ongoing MLB and now DEA investigations prove that Rodriguez was juicing so recently, then the Yankees will probably buy out the remaining five years and $114 million left on his contract and dump him. For that matter, it isn't clear that the Yankees will get stiffed for the whole amount since Rodriguez would be in violation of his contract.
But hold on. In a dramatic roll of the dice, Rodriguez has hired former Kennedy family attorney Roy Black. It's a very good bet that the Black connection came through A-Rod's agent, Scott Boras, who, lest we forget, has a law degree and worked for a time in the pharmaceutical defense department of a major Chicago law firm. And as this plot thickens, here's another fun fact to keep in mind: Boras has never had a client suspended for drug use.
The official statement sent by the A-Rod camp to Joel Sherman of The New York Post goes like this:
The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. 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.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that, taken literally, A-Rod is telling the truth. He was probably not treated by Bosch because Bosch is not really a doctor and does not have a degree in medicine. In any event, any possible business between Rodriguez and Bosch could well been conducted by friends or family members.
Many are referring to what may be the biggest sports drug bust of the decade as "BALCO East." Will Carroll, author of The Juice: The Real Story of Baseball's Drug Problems, cites one big difference. "Only one thing keeps this from being a BALCO East story. Victor Conte [founder and owner of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative] at least hired some smart people. Bosch didn't. The people involved here seem to be a lot dumber."