Report: MLB allowed Alex Rodriguez to use PEDs during 2007 MVP season

Alex Rodriguez YankeesAlex Rodriguez was reportedly granted permission to use performance-enhancing drugs by Major League Baseball during the 2007 season. The revelation comes via an excerpt from the new book “Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era.”

A section of the book, which was written by Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts, explains how A-Rod was given an exemption to use testosterone throughout the entire 2007 season. He belted 54 home runs, drove in a career-high 156 RBI and batted .314 that season en route to winning the American League MVP Award. Here’s an explanation of how it went down, via Sports Illustrated:

Under baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy, players can apply for a so-called therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to take certain medical substances otherwise banned by MLB. A doctor appointed by both sides—the independent program administrator (IPA) — reviews all applications. Baseball also has an expert medical panel to advise the IPA. If an exemption is granted, the player cannot be punished for using that substance. The exemption is good for one year.

Before the 2007 season, Rodriguez asked for permission to use testosterone, which has been banned by baseball since 2003. The IPA in ’07 was Bryan W. Smith, a High Point, N.C., physician. (Baseball did not yet have the advisory medical panel.) On Feb. 16, 2007, two days before Rodriguez reported to spring training, Smith granted the exemption, allowing Rodriguez to use testosterone all season.

The book goes on to explain how rare testosterone exemptions are, with players more commonly being granted TUE’s to use banned substances like Adderall. In 2007, 111 of the 1,354 players who were subject to drug testing were granted TUE’s. Rodriguez was one of only two players who was allowed to use “androgen efficiency medications,” or testosterone.

The entire excerpt is very much worth reading. A-Rod has allegedly applied for several more exemptions throughout his career, and some have been granted. He also admitted to using steroids from 2001-2003, which means Rodriguez has likely been using PEDs throughout much of his career. Shocking, I know.

Also see: A-Rod reportedly asked for girl’s number in stands during playoff game
Also see: Chelsea Handler said she called Alex Rodriguez a ‘f—ing a–hole’ to his face
Also see: Alex Rodriguez drops lawsuits against MLB, Bud Selig, MLBPA

Around The Web

  • Steven Keys

    Abiding (MLB) by ruling of a jointly “appointed” IPA (Dr. Smith) on a disengenuous (?) claim of “therapeutic use,” in earlier stage of baseball’s PED prevention program, is hardly “allow(ing)” (a player) to use PEDs.”

    Maybe Elfrink & Garcia-Roberts’ next project should be book about how nearly most of America, including fans, owners et al, players & union, media, sponsors and authors, “allowed” baseball players and the like to gorge themselves on PEDs for over a decade and needed Jose Canseco, of all people, to shame it into action. That would be a must read, for all.

  • Chris_RG

    Clickbait headline. Technically true but there was no ulterior motive by MLB here, which the headline implies.

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  • Harry Armstrong

    Canseco is an a**hole. With or without the steroid thing. Remember the time they were playing against the Cleveland Indians and he leaped up for the ball but it bounced off his head and over the fence for a home run. Now that is typical Canseco.

  • Steven Keys

    Not sure how a baseball oddity (“ball..bounced off his head”) translates to “a**hole,” but there’s no denying his book “Juiced (’05)” proved a watershed event, or at least impetus, in America’s slowly evolving effort to confront the full-blown plague that had become PED use in sport.