Alex Rodriguez just went from alleged cheater to alleged snitch.
60 Minutes reports this morning that the beleaguered star's inner circle obtained and then leaked documents that implicated a pair of fellow ballplayers in the doping scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball this summer—a revelation that could deal a serious blow to A-Rod's chances of winning his appeal of his 211-game PED suspension. If nothing else, the report represents yet another hit in a string of them to the Yankee's already tarnished legacy. The identity of the two players in question don't help things either: Ryan Braun, the only other player caught up in the Biogenesis scandal with anywhere near as high of a profile as Rodriguez; and Francisco Cervelli, one of Rodriguez's own New York Yankee teammates.
The CBS report, which cites two sources "with direct knowledge of the matter," claims the leak came only days after the Miami New Times first broke open the Biogenesis scandal back in January. Documents published by the Florida paper detailed comprehensive doping regimens that the Miami clinic's founder, Anthony Bosch, had created for a host of pro athletes, including Rodriguez. Those documents, however, had several names redacted, including Braun's and Cervelli's. That wasn't the case in the unredacted versions that A-Rod's team allegedly leaked to Yahoo! Sports in the days that followed. Here's CBS News on what that could mean for Rodriguez's bid to avoid his lengthy suspension:
The revelation that members of Rodriguez's camp at the time leaked documents implicating other players to the media could present significant problems for Rodriguez's legal team as they enter the arbitration process to appeal his suspension. Baseball officials say they levied a harsher suspension on Rodriguez because of his continued use of PEDs over multiple years as well as his attempt to "obstruct and frustrate" MLB's investigation.
Rodriguez's case is set to be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in the coming weeks. If MLB were to present evidence that Rodriguez's camp knowingly leaked additional Bosch business records, it might demonstrate that Rodriguez's camp had not only obtained them to keep them out of the hands of investigators, but that he actively sought to interfere with baseball's investigation by releasing other players' names.
Baseball's collective bargaining agreement requires that any allegations of PED use are to first be dealt with privately before either the Commissioner's office or the Players Association makes any names public. The premature release of a player's name is a direct violation of the collective bargaining agreement.
In a statement to 60 Minutes, Rodriguez lawyer David Cornwell strongly denied the report: "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. While Alex focuses on baseball and repeatedly states that he is going to respect the appeal process, the drumbeat of false allegations continues."
Braun accepted a 65-game suspension for the remainder of this season late last month, becoming the first domino to fall in the MLB's investigation into the clinic accused of handing out banned PEDs to baseball players and other athletes. Cervelli, meanwhile, was one of a dozen players who accepted a 50-game ban early this month on the same day that Rodriguez's punishment was announced. Go check out the full 60 Minutes report here.