Members of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle implicated other major league baseball players involved in the Biogenesis scandal, according to a “60 Minutes” report.
The leaked names were Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and Rodriguez’s teammate Francisco Cervelli.
Citing unidentified sources, the CBS news show said the leak occurred in February, days after the Miami New Times published documents implicating the Yankees star in the Biogenesis investigation.
In the Miami New Times documents, the names of Braun and one of Rodriguez’s teammates, catcher Francisco Cervelli, are redacted. “60 Minutes” reports that members of Rodriguez’s camp obtained unredacted versions and leaked them to Yahoo! Sports.
Rodriguez’s lead attorney, David Cornwell, released a statement denying the allegations.
“The allegations are untrue and are another attempt to harm Alex — this time by driving a wedge between Alex and other players in the game,” he said in a statement to the show. “While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues.”
On Aug. 5, Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players with connections with Biogenesis of America, the Florida anti-anging clinic accused of supplying players with illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Those banned include All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera, who were banned 50 games apiece. Braun accepted a 65-suspension last month.
Rodriguez was given a 211-game suspension through 2014.
His punishment under the labor contract was for “attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the office of the commissioner’s investigation.”
Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday he thought the punishment was “eminently fair.”
“I have a job to do, and that’s protecting the integrity of the game and enforcing it, and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.
Rodriguez is currently appealing the punishment and therefore is still eligible to play in games. The 38-year-old hit his first home run of the 2013 season on Sunday in the Yankees’ 5-4 win over the Detroit Tigers. It was Rodriguez’s 648th career homer, bringing him to just 12 behind Hall of Famer Willie Mays.
If the “60 Mintues” reports are true, it would make Rodriguez’s case for appeal even more difficult.
“If baseball proves members of Rodriguez’s camp in February prematurely released the name of a player suspected of using PEDs that would be a direct violation of the collective bargaining agreement and would strike a major league blow to his appeal.”
Rodriguez’s case is scheduled to be heard by arbitrator Frederic Horowitz in the next few weeks. MLB Players Association chief Michael Weiner said he will support Rodriguez’s appeal.
“We feel what he [Selig] did, frankly, was inappropriate and almost ridiculous,” Weiner said. “Look at the penalties that have been [given] out and cases that have been decided by the commissioner’s office along with the players’ association. Nothing comes close to 211 games.”