A book, "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era," written by Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts has revealed that Major League Baseball (MLB) allowed Alex Rodriguez to use Testosterone during his 2007 Most Valuable Player season.
The authors claimed Rodriguez was cleared to use "androgen deficiency medications" and was permitted to use Clomid in 2008 but was denied permission to make use of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Clomid is a female infertility drug that is also used by athletes and bodybuilders at the end of steroid cycles as it can stimulate the body to make more testosterone.
According to an excerpt in the book, Rodriguez asked for permission to use testosterone before the 2007 season. Testosterone has been banned by baseball since 2003 but Bryan W Smith, a North Carolina physician who was the independent program administrator in 2007 granted the exemption two days before Rodriguez reported to spring training, which allowed Rodriguez to use testosterone all season. In 2008, Bryan Smith was criticized by the US Congress for issuing so many exemptions, especially after release of the Mitchell Report. He was replaced by Dr. Jeffrey Anderson in 2012.
Elfrink was the reporter who broke out the story about alleged relationship of A-Rod with Tony Bosch and Biogenesis of America Tony Bosch and Biogenesis of America after which MLB commissioner suspended Rodriguez for the entire 2014 season. The Yankees' third baseman decided to appeal against the 211-game ban and continued to play for the remainder of the 2013 season. The baseball star then planned to contest the ruling after season of the Yankees ended. Rodriguez's lawyers however convinced him because of the trial costs and results if he lost the trial. The arbitrator later decided to reduce the ban to 162 games, a full season.
In a statement, MLB remarked that all decisions regarding whether a player shall receive a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) under the Joint Drug Program are made by the Independent Program Administrator (IPA) in consultation with outside medical experts, with no input by either the Office of the Commissioner or the Players Association. It added that the process is confidentially administered by the IPA, and MLB and the MLBPA are not even made aware of which players applied for therapeutic use exemptions. MLB added the TUE process under the Joint Drug Program is comparable to the process under the World Anti-Doping Code and the standard for receiving a TUE for a medication listed as a performance-enhancing substance is stringent, with only a few such TUEs being issued each year by the IPA.
It further added that the MLB and the MLBPA annually review the TUE process to make sure it meets the most up-to-date standards for the issuance of TUEs. MLB officials also remarked that MLB and the MLBPA since 2008 as recommended by the Mitchell Report have publicly issued the IPA's annual report, which documents how many TUEs were granted for each category of medication and said we believe this high level of transparency helps to ensure the proper operation of the TUE process.
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