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New book claims Major League Baseball approved Alex Rodriguez's PED use

In August 2013, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season after it was determined that he had repeatedly used performance-enhancing drugs, also known as PEDs, during his baseball career. Now there’s new information, in the form of Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts’ upcoming book, Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era, that complicates the narrative.

As noted in Sports Illustrated‘s exclusive excerpt from the book:

In January 2008, according to the arbitration hearing transcripts, Rodriguez requested two exemptions. He wanted to use clomiphene citrate (Clomid), a drug designed to increase fertility in women. It is also prescribed to men who suffer from hypogonadism — a testosterone deficiency — to block the production of estrogen in their bodies. The drug is popular with bodybuilders at the end of steroid cycles because it can also stimulate the body to make more testosterone.

Rodriguez also requested permission to use human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone known as HCG, popularly — and misguidedly — used for weight loss and also to produce testosterone. Both HCG and clomiphene citrate were banned with the 2008 season. [Independent program administrator Bryan] Smith approved Rodriguez’s use of clomiphene citrate that year. The exemption for HCG was denied, but according to the transcript of [MLB chief operating officer Rob] Manfred’s arbitration testimony, that denial was “more of a recordkeeping thing than anything else.” Rodriguez’s physician communicated with Smith, and “in their back-and-forth the physician informed Dr. Smith that the player was no longer using [HCG],” Manfred testified.

Even when A-Rod is away from the game for a year, headlines still manage to find him. Read the entire excerpt here.

Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era will hit shelves on July 8, 2014.

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