Yuri Sucart, a cousin of Alex Rodriguez, pleaded guilty in Miami federal court to conspiring to distribute performance-enhancing drugs. The 52-year-old Sucart played a critical role in implicating Rodriguez, the American professional baseball third baseman and shortstop for the New York Yankees, to baseball's doping scandal.
In August, Sucart was arrested along with Anthony Bosch, the owner of Biogenesis of America LLC -- a Florida anti-aging clinic that supplied testosterone-filled syringes and other performance-enhancing drugs to some of the leading stars of Major League Baseball. Prosecutors agreed to seek a prison time of eight months for Sucart under his plea deal, according to his attorney, Edward O'Donnell.
O'Donnell added he will seek a sentence of four months of house arrest because his client is suffering from serious heart and circulatory ailments that require him to use a walker. The attorney added the government is not going to agree to that, but we're going to ask for it and added his client just wants to take care of himself and get this over with. Sucart faces between 8-14 months in prison at sentencing June 4.
Sucart was a longtime personal assistant to Rodriguez before the two had a falling out in 2012. After this, Rodriguez stopped making payments to Sucart. However, Sucart was offered $600,000 and the value of his three-bedroom home by the three-time American League MVP, according to Sucart's lawyers but Sucart wanted $5 million and the house as well,
Rodriguez will not be forced to testify in court due to Sucart's guilty plea. Yuri Sucart becomes the eighth person involved with Biogenesis to have entered a guilty plea.
Rodriguez is not new to doping controversies. Sports Illustrated reported on February 7, 2009 that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for anabolic steroids, Testosterone and Primobolan in 2003. The baseball star's name also figured in the report compiled as part of Major League Baseball's 2003 survey to find out whether random drug testing program might be necessary. Rodriguez admitted two days after the allegation to steroid use from 2001 until 2003. Rodriguez claimed that Yuri Sucart repeatedly injected him from 2001 to 2003 with a mysterious substance (the over-the-counter drug, which he termed "boli") from the Dominican Republic. His claim was rejected by Dr. Milton Pinedo, president of the Dominican Federation of Sports Medicine, who said that Primobolan is available in the underground market of the Dominican Republic and no pharmacy carries this product.
According to court records, Sucart was paid nearly $1 million by Alex Rodriguez in 2013 after A-Rod's cousin threatened to expose himself as the player's “steroid mule.” Yuri Sucart pleaded to a count of conspiring to distribute human growth hormone, which is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison. He was initially charged with conspiring to the distribution of testosterone and five counts of distributing testosterone, which is punishable by a total of 20 years in prison. During the hearing, Judge Cecilia Altonaga said Sucart actively recruited the players, who you told could get help getting bigger and recovering from injuries faster. Sucart was paid as much as $13,500 a month by Bosch for his services
Bosch pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to distribute testosterone. The 51-year-old owner of the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic was sentenced in February to four years in prison.