New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is reportedly claiming he unknowingly took substances that are banned by Major League Baseball. According to the NY Daily News, Rodriguez and his lawyers have been presenting a case at his arbitration hearing that is based on the idea that the 37-year-old believed the drugs he obtained from Anthony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic were perfectly legal.
Bosch, however, has been telling a different story. The Biogenesis founder has reportedly validated documents obtained by the MLB and shared text message and email conversations he had with A-Rod about the drugs. MLB is now trying to determine why Rodriguez would have been so secretive about obtaining the substances if he believed they were legal.
Rodriguez’s attorneys are supposed to cross-examine Bosch on Wednesday, during which they will undoubtedly attempt to attack his character and credibility. The Daily News claims A-Rod’s attorneys will look to prove that the only reason Bosch has cooperated with MLB’s investigation is because he was paid and told he would be dropped from the lawsuit if he did.
In arguing that he took supplements he believed were legal, A-Rod is not entering unchartered territory. The defense is the same one that Barry Bonds used when he claimed he had no idea that the cream and the clear provided to him by BALCO were steroids. Roger Clemens argued in his case that he believed trainer Brian McNamee was injecting him with B-12 vitamin shots.
The defense is pathetic, but it has been known to work. Baseball’s drug policy takes intent into consideration and allows players to be absolved of wrongdoing if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were unaware they were using performance-enhancing drugs.
The hope is that common sense will come into play. There’s no logical reason Rodriguez would have allegedly paid Bosch so much money and gone out of his way to keep their meetings a secret if he thought the substances he was using were legal.
UPDATE: A-Rod’s camp has denied the report from the NY Daily News.
Statement from A-Rod peeps as to report he claimed he was duped by Bosch into taking illegal stuff: "What is being reported is NOT true."
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) October 2, 2013