Yankees’ Rodriguez Among Offenders in Latest PED Scandal


(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Contra Costa Times/MCT)

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, the Miami New Times first broke the news of a new, massive performance-enhancing drug (PED) scandal in Major League Baseball (MLB). Records from Miami-area anti-aging clinic Biogenesis show names and nicknames of a litany of MLB players, including the New York Yankees’ $275 million outfielder Alex Rodriguez. Other players listed in the records include Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colón, Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez.

For Rodriguez, who had previously admitted to using steroids from 2001 until 2003, the report flies in the face of his assertion that such usage was in his past. In fact, mentions of Rodriguez in the Biogenesis records reach as recent as 2009, the year Rodriguez first admitted to earlier use of anabolic steroids, testosterone and Primobolan in response to an indicting account from Sports Illustrated.

The scandal comes at a time where PED-use is largely in the public’s eye, but as a stain on years gone by rather than a current problem. While the disappointment felt by sports fans is palpable over Lance Armstrong’s admissions of doping or the underwhelming new Baseball Hall of Fame induction class, both came with a silver lining: these issues are in the past. Now, with sources such as ESPN’s Buster Olney comparing the news to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative sports drug scandal, fans of MLB are faced with the reality that the war on PEDs has largely failed.

When the latest PED news regarding Rodriguez is considered alongside his underwhelming playoff performances, recent hip surgery and extremely heavy contract, it’s tough to imagine that the New York Yankees moving forward with the slugger much longer. Though Rodriguez, by way of a statement from his spokesman, has denied all accusations, repeated mentions of an “Alex Rod,” “A Rod,” and “Alex Rodriguez” are made throughout several of Biogenesis Dr. Anthony Bosch’s client lists and notebooks.  If the allegations made are verified, the Yankees could seek to void his contract.

Either way, this scandal is another major blemish for MLB, a league that was enjoying what many had optimistically called the post-steroid era. The league, which had already planned to introduce human growth hormone testing this coming year, is now tasked with stepping up the reevaluation of its anti-doping policies. Perhaps worst of all, professional baseball is likely to see a public relations backslide, erasing the progress the league has made in getting fans to come back following what will now be known as the first wave of substance abuse scandals.