Via Michael S. Schmidt -
Just days before the Yankees headed north from Florida to begin the 2010 season, third baseman Alex Rodriguez sat down for an interview with investigators for Major League Baseball near the team’s spring training complex in Tampa.
The investigators, according to several people briefed on the interview, wanted to question Rodriguez about his ties to a Canadian doctor who said he had treated Rodriguez and who was under investigation by federal authorities in the United States on suspicion of distributing performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes.
In the interview, which lasted several hours, Rodriguez was emphatic: the doctor had treated him but had never given him performance-enhancing drugs.
Fourteen months later, the investigators for baseball still have not accepted those answers as fact and are trying to determine what the doctor, Anthony Galea, might have given Rodriguez, according to several people briefed on the federal investigation.
In recent weeks, the investigators have sought to obtain the medical records Galea kept about his treatment of Rodriguez. To date, they have been unsuccessful despite the fact that Rodriguez has cleared the way for the records to be released, according to two people with knowledge of the request.
Galea, who was indicted in October by a federal grand jury in Buffalo on five charges that alleged he distributed performance-enhancing drugs — including human growth hormone — to professional athletes in the United States, has been in plea negotiations with federal prosecutors in Buffalo for several months, according to several people briefed on the case. The people would not be identified because the dealings between the government and Galea and his lawyers are confidential.
A guilty plea in the case, one that would probably involve Galea’s laying out exactly what he did and did not do for the athletes, could provide baseball with its answers and would probably make clear whether Rodriguez faces any criminal exposure. Rodriguez, according to the people briefed on the case, testified in 2010 before a federal grand jury hearing evidence in the case. It is not clear what his testimony was.
Mark J. Mahoney, Galea’s lawyer in Buffalo, said he knew nothing about baseball’s efforts to gain records of Galea’s treatment of Rodriguez. Galea’s lawyer in Canada, Brian H. Greenspan, did not respond to two e-mails and a voicemail message left at his office on Sunday.
Rodriguez’s lawyers, James E. Sharp and Jay K. Reisinger, issued a statement to The New York Times on Sunday.
“Alex fully cooperated with Major League Baseball and federal authorities in Buffalo regarding his treatment with Dr. Galea, including granting a release of his medical records,” the statement said. “Regarding matters before the grand jury, strict secrecy rules do not permit us to comment.”
Reisinger as a result would not say whether Rodriguez had told the grand jury if he was treated with H.G.H., or even whether Rodriguez had appeared before the grand jury.
I wonder why “the investigators for baseball still have not accepted” A-Rod’s answers on this? Do they think he was lying? The answer has to be yes – or else why would they want more on this? And, if they find out that A-Rod did get HGH from Galea, what would they do? Would they suspend him for 50 games? What would that mean for Alex’s Hall of Fame chances? How would the Yankees react to all this?
It’s amazing that we’re still talking about this – all these months later, huh?