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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

Alex Rodriguez reportedly owes millions in legal fees

Alex Rodriguez YankeesAlex Rodriguez has paid millions of dollars in an attempt to clear his name and fight against the suspension Major League Baseball levied against him. Or, should we say, the New York Yankees slugger is supposed to pay millions for the services that go along with that battle. One report claims he has failed to do that.

According to the NY Daily News, A-Rod racked up roughly $4 million in legal feels and private investigator fees while fighting MLB. He has reportedly paid some of the bills, but a source said he still owes about $3 million to a number of people and companies. Rodriguez has allegedly ignored repeated calls from lawyers who are trying to collect.

The Daily News’ source goes on to claim that attorneys and private investigators could take A-Rod to court if he continues to make them wait. And going to court could involve revealing truths about Rodriguez’s failed attempt to get his suspension overturned.

“If he resists paying, he will pay anyway and he will suffer,” the source reportedly said. “If he forces people to prove he owes them money, the issues that he discussed with his attorneys will be made public — and Alex doesn’t want people telling the truth.”

Joe Tacopina is one of the people Rodriguez is said to be in debt with, though the criminal defense attorney denied it.

“I have absolutely no fee dispute whatsoever with Alex,” Tacopina told the Daily News. “He has been entirely fair and responsible with respect to the payment of my fees.”

The idea certainly seems far-fetched, as Rodriguez is one of the highest-paid athletes of all time and is worth an estimated $300 million. The Yankees won’t have to pay him in 2014, but he is still owed a total of $51 million through 2017. It’s probably safe to assume all parties will be paid in full before the courts get involved.

H/T Jimmy Traina’s The Big Buzz

Chelsea Handler said she called Alex Rodriguez a ‘f—ing a–hole’ to his face

Chelsea-HandlerThere are a lot of people in the world who despise New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, and Chelsea Handler is one of them. The popular talk show host finds A-Rod to be disgusting. She spoke about her disdain for him during an appearance on Wednesday’s “Howard Stern Show.”

Handler said that A-Rod recently approached her and asked why she makes fun of him all the time.

“Get away from me you’re disgusting,” she claims she told him, via FOXSports.com’s Jimmy Traina. “You’re gross.”

Rodriguez, refusing to accept that anyone would think this way about him, then told Handler he is a big fan and thinks the two got off on the wrong foot.

“I go, ‘I don’t know why you’re a big fan. I think you’re a f—ing a–hole,'” Chelsea replied.

Handler went on to tell Stern that she thinks A-Rod is a “buffoon” and hates the way he carries himself. She also mentioned how he supposedly has a painting of himself depicted as a centaur in his bedroom, which she finds “gross.” The full recap of her comments can be read here if you scroll to the 7:50 a.m. section.

Those of you who are familiar with Chelsea or her show “Chelsea Lately” know that she is incredibly outspoken and loves to joke around. That said, she claims she was not kidding at all about A-Rod. She really does despise the dude.

Alex Rodriguez’s lawyer Joe Tacopina sues Daily News reporters

Joe-TacopinaAlex Rodriguez may have dropped all of his lawsuits on Friday pertaining to the 162-game suspension he has been ordered to serve, but one of his attorneys is not done taking legal action. Joe Tacopina, one of New York’s top criminal defense lawyers, has filed a $15 million defamation lawsuit against two NY Daily News reporters.

According to The Star-Ledger, the suit accuses Nathaniel Vinton and Michael O’Keeffe of being “obsessed with ridding the sports world for performance-enhancing drugs” to the point where they tried to discredit Tacopina by getting one of his past clients, New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, to file a false ethics claim against him.

Tacopina alleged that Vinton and O’Keeffee wrote a “hit piece” on him and unfairly covered the A-Rod saga in an attempt to persecute the New York Yankees slugger.

Tacopina also claims in the suit that Kerik is a “convicted felon” who attempted to clear his name by blaming his criminal convictions for corruption and fraud on his former lawyer (Tacopina). Kerik was sentenced to four years in prison in 2010 after admitting to tax fraud and lying to the White House while he was being considered for the Homeland Security secretary job.

Vinton and O’Keeffe said in pieces they have written that Tacopina “disclosed privileged information in his case and had failed to notify (Kerik) that he’d been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors.” Tacopina claims those allegations, among others, are false.

The song that never ends must go on

Alex Rodriguez drops lawsuits against MLB, Bud Selig, MLBPA

Alex Rodriguez YankeesNew York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuits against Major League Baseball, MLB commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB Players Association on Friday. A-Rod was initially seeking to overturn his 162-game suspension and bring the case to federal court, but it appears he has had a change of heart.

“We have been informed that Alex Rodriguez has reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter,” MLB said in a statement on Friday, via ESPNNewYork.com. “We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow Major League Players. We share that desire.”

Rodriguez had his suspension reduced by an arbitrator from 211 games to 161 games last month. He had previously threatened to sue MLB if the suspension was not overturned completely. A-Rod also stormed out of one of his arbitration hearings and later said he was disgusted with the “abusive process” the league was putting him through.

Now, all of a sudden, A-Rod has decided to withdraw all of his suits. Given how adamant he was about fighting the suspension before, you have to assume some sort of deal was reached. I highly doubt pressure from the MLBPA would make A-Rod do a complete 180-degree turn.

“Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit,” the MLBPA said in a statement on Friday. “His decision to move forward is in everyone’s best interest.”

Perhaps A-Rod realized like the rest of us that he had no shot of getting his case all the way to federal court. Either that, or there is much more to the story.

Jonny Gomes rips Alex Rodriguez, warns him against going after MLBPA

Jonny-Gomes-home-runNew York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has angered a number of his fellow players by filing a lawsuit against the MLB Players Association. In a recent conference call, several players ripped A-Rod for going against his “brothers.” One player even reportedly said he hopes Rodriguez gets plunked if he returns to the diamond, but no players were willing to attach their names to the quotes.

Jonny Gomes, one of several fan favorites on the 2013 Boston Red Sox World Series team, had no problem speaking on behalf of the union.

“He does steroids or whatever, it sucks. He does this or that, it sucks. He’s always in the news, it sucks,” Gomes told the Boston Herald on Thursday. “But this is the players’ union he’s going against. It’s all of us. Not a real good idea.

“I think what he had going on is pretty individual. He did it. It was his decision, his suspension. But I don’t think it’s really a good idea to go after our union. Down to my (expletive) kids, down to the benefits we have, down to our retirement fund, the union makes our lives better. We pay dues to the union for our rights.”

A-Rod hired his own legal team to fight his initial 211-game suspension, which was eventually cut down to 162 games. However, his lawsuit against the MLBPA means that player dues will be going toward defending the union. That’s what rubs Gomes and others the wrong way.

[Related: John Lackey did not think A-Rod should play during suspension]

“Him and the Yankees were butting heads last year,” Gomes said. “Whatever, don’t care. But he’s truly going against every single major league player, and every single major league player that’s played this game before. It brings a whole different light on things.”

Players like Ryan Braun and Jhonny Peralta were caught cheating and accepted the punishment. A-Rod insists on attacking everyone in his path to try to clear his name, including the union that represents the players’ rights. He truly is on an island of his own.

Tommy Lasorda: Alex Rodriguez is trying to ruin baseball

tommy-lasorda-benchTommy Lasorda has a very strong opinion about New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Here’s a hint — it’s one that is shared among countless other sports fans across the world.

Speaking at a Baseball Assistance Team charity event in Manhattan on Tuesday, the 86-year-old Hall of Famer said he believes the 162-game suspension Rodriguez ultimately got was not enough.

“He should have gotten more,” Lasorda said, via ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin. “What he’s done? He’s trying to ruin the game. You can’t do that. He’s going to keep on trying to do something, but he’s got a suspension. He should just sit back and fill it out.”

The last thing A-Rod is going to do is quietly sit back and serve his suspension, as evidenced by the fact that he reportedly turned down a deal to serve a 50-game suspension at the beginning of last season.

“I was thinking, ‘At least this guy is doing it legitimately,’ and then find out he wasn’t,” Lasorda added. “That really turned my opinion of him.”

Lasorda, who managed the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series championships in the 1980s, also took a strong stance against known performance-enhancing drug users being elected to the Hall of Fame.

“When someone breaks the rules, they don’t belong in there,” he said. “Would you have your son get A-Rod’s autograph? Would you like to have that?”

A-Rod has very few supporters remaining, but he doesn’t seem to care. Even members of the MLB Players Association have turned against him, with one player reportedly saying he hopes Rodriguez gets thrown at if he ever returns to the diamond. A-Rod cares about money and his personal legacy. He’s got plenty of the former. The latter will always be tarnished.