Via Michael S. Schmidt -
Alex Rodriguez told investigators and lawyers for Major League Baseball on Thursday that he was treated by a Canadian-based doctor now under investigation by federal authorities but that he did not receive performance-enhancing drugs from him, according to two people in baseball with knowledge of the meeting.
In meeting with the Yankees’ Rodriguez for a three-hour interview Thursday night in Florida, baseball officials ended up beating the federal authorities to the punch. The authorities have sought to interview Rodriguez for weeks but have not yet done so. Baseball officials and the federal authorities want to know what interactions Rodriguez had with the doctor, Anthony Galea, who has stated that he treated him in 2009 with anti-inflammatories after Rodriguez’s hip surgery.
Rodriguez was accompanied to the meeting by several personal lawyers — including James Sharp and Jay Reisinger — as well as a lawyer from the players union, the people said.
Investigators from Major League Baseball’s department of investigations and at least one lawyer from the commissioner’s office questioned Rodriguez, the people said. Major League Baseball’s top drug-testing official, Rob Manfred, was not at the meeting.
Major League Baseball officials wanted to meet with Rodriguez before the season and have urged him to meet with federal authorities as soon as possible, said the people with knowledge of the Rodriguez interview. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing the details of a confidential meeting.
Rodriguez had planned to meet with federal authorities March 26 in Buffalo, where the local United States attorney’s office is leading the investigation into Galea. The inquiry is looking into the possibility that Galea distributed performance enhancers, including human growth hormone, to various athletes. But that meeting was put off after Rodriguez’s lawyers expressed concern that there would be a media spectacle.
Federal authorities had previously tried to interview Rodriguez in Florida last month, but Rodriguez put off that session.
Rodriguez’s relationship with Galea has left Major League Baseball and the Yankees concerned, in part because Rodriguez’s representatives told the team in December that he had never had any interactions with Galea, which now turns out to be inaccurate.
It is also clear that the Yankees are not pleased that Rodriguez, as of Friday afternoon, had yet to meet with federal investigators because he is now poised to create a distraction for the team just as the season is beginning.
A three-hour interview? That seems to be pretty long for what should have been as simple as “What interactions did you have with Anthony Galea?”
I wonder what else was discussed…