NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Major League Baseball somehow allowed Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez to use testosterone seven years ago, a new book claims.
According to excerpts of the book “Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era,” which appear on Sports Illustrated’s website, A-Rod was granted a therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) by the league prior to the 2007 season so he could take a form of testosterone.
An independent program administrator granted Rodriguez the exemption, which allowed him to use testosterone all season, two days before spring training with the Yankees in 2007, the book claims. A-Rod went on to win his third AL MVP that season after hitting .314 with 54 home runs. He had a career-high 156 RBIs to go with a .422 on-base percentage, .645 slugging percentage and 1.067 OPS.
He then exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and signed a 10-year deal with the Yankees for more than $252 million.
The following is an excerpt from the book that appears on SI.com:
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.”
Out of more than 1,350 players tested that year, 111 were granted a therapeutic-use exemption, but Rodriguez was one of just two granted one for “androgen deficiency medications,” the SI.com report said.
Rodriguez was initially suspended 211 games for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, but an arbitrator reduced the ban to the entire 2014 season, including the postseason. He then sued MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB Players’ Association, but later dropped both suits. He also filed a lawsuit against Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital last October because he said they misread an MRI and misdiagnosed his left hip injury in 2012, but both of those suits were dropped last month.
A-Rod is due to return to the Yankees next season at age 39, with three years and $61 million left on his contract.
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