Alex Rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs in 2007, the year he hit 54 home runs, won his second MVP award, and then opted out of his contract, leading to the biggest pay-day in baseball history—and he did it with the league's blessing. An excerpt from the upcoming book, Blood Sport, published in Sports Illustrated yesterday reveals that Rodriguez applied for a "therapeutic use exemption" to baseball's drug policy, which allows players to take banned substances if they have a medical reason. Rodriguez got an exemption to use testosterone, the league revealed in Rodriguez's 2013 grievance hearing.
In the hearing, MLB's COO called testosterone "the mother of all anabolics," and noted that the most common reason a healthy young man would be low on it would be "prior steroid abuse." Only one other player that year got an exemption for a drug that would boost testosterone. The next year, A-Rod got another exemption, this time for a female fertility drug that bodybuilders often use to boost testosterone. "For a guy with low testosterone, he sure has some set of onions," quips Wallace Matthews in a scathing piece at ESPN; he calls the story "not only comically ironic, but deeply embarrassing to baseball."
For the full excerpt, which also explains how A-Rod fell in with Biogenesis, click here. (Read more Alex Rodriguez stories.)