A-Rod Had MLB's Permission To Use Testosterone During His Last MVP Season

Categories: News

Photo by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
Baseball fans already know that for significant portions of his career, Alex Rodriguez has used performance enhancing drugs. Back in 2009, A-Rod admitted to using steroids from 2001-2003 with the Texas Rangers after news broke that he'd failed a drug test in '03, when he won an MVP award. Last year, A-Rod earned a record suspension in the Biogenesis scandal for buying a sophisticated array of PEDs from the Coral Gables clinic.

What's never been reported until now is that Rodriguez also had MLB's permission to use a powerful PED during his 2007 campaign, when he won another MVP, and to use a different testosterone-boosting banned drug in 2008.

See also: Tony Bosch and Biogenesis: MLB Steroid Scandal

The revelations come from a transcript of the confidential arbitration hearings held last fall when A-Rod challenged his 211-game Biogenesis suspension -- a challenge that eventually reduced his ban to a season-long punishment that's kept him out of MLB this year.

Details of that transcript are reported in "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era," a book on the scandal I co-authored with Gus Garcia-Roberts, a former Miami New Times senior writer now on the Newsday investigative team.

An excerpt from the book published today includes the new revelations. Under its drug policy, MLB allows players to apply for "therapeutic use exemptions" -- or TUEs -- which give players with a medical reason permission for one season at a time to use a banned drug. A doctor called an "independent program administrator" -- or IPA -- considers the applications and decides whether or not a player can get the exemption.

During the arbitration hearing, MLB officials included all the TUEs that Alex Rodriguez had applied for an received during his career. In 2007, Rodriguez was given permission by the IPA to use testosterone during the full campaign.

Testosterone, which has been banned since baseball adopted its current drug policy, is considered the "mother of all anabolics," according to testimony by MLB's chief operating officer, Rob Manfred, during the hearing.

The next year, Rodriguez applied to use two other soon-to-be-banned drugs: Clomophene citrate (or Clomid), a female fertility drug that can also boost testosterone in men, and human chorionic gonadotropin (or HcG), another drug that can kick-start testosterone production. He was given permission to use Clomid but not HcG.

Check out the full excerpt from "Blood Sport" in this week's Sports Illustrated, or online at SI.com. "Blood Sport" hits the shelves next week.

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