Rodriguez lawyer declines MLB challenge to release eveidence

Major league officials have challenged the New York Yankees player, suspended for 211 games, to waive the confidentiality drug agreement

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 3:26am

A lawyer for Alex Rodriguez declined Major League Baseball's challenge to make public the drug evidence that led to the 211-game suspension of the New York Yankees star.

Major League Baseball's executive vice president Rob Manfred wrote to lawyer Joseph Tacopina, urging him to waive his client's confidentiality under baseball's joint drug agreement so the documents could be released.

Tacopina had said he wanted to discuss evidence publicly but was constrained by the provision.

"We will agree to waive those provisions ... including, but not limited to, his testing history, test results, violations of the programme,and all information and evidence relating to Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Bosch, Anthony Galea and Victor Conte, " Manfred wrote in the letter, which was released by MLB.

Bosch was head of the Biogenesis of America anti-ageing clinic. accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. Galea pleaded guilty two years ago to a federal charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States from Canada. Conte was head of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the target of a federal investigation that led to criminal charges against Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and others.

In addition to his own lawyers, Rodriguez paid a Florida-based attorney in February to represent Bosch.

In June, Bosch agreed to cooperate with MLB's investigation.

Rodriguez declined comment, citing the confidentiality provision. "At some point, I think everybody will talk," he said . "I think everybody has to have a little patience."

Rodriguez is among 14 players disciplined by MLB this summer following its Biogenesis investigation.

Former National League MVP Ryan Braun accepted a 65-game suspension and 12 players agreed to 50-game penalties.

The 38-year-old Rodriguez made his big-league season debut on August 5, the same day his suspension was announced. He had been sidelined since left hip surgery in January and his return was delayed by a leg injury in July.

Tacopina claims an October MRI revealed the left hip injury. The Yankees maintain Rodriguez complained then only of a problem with his right hip.

"They put him out there in that condition when he shouldn't have even been walking, much less playing baseball," Tacopina said.

Rodriguez said he asked the union to file a grievance over his medical treatment. That is unlikely to be part of the drug appeal.

Tacopina also claims Yankees President Randy Levine told Dr Bryan Kelly of the Hospital for Special Surgery who operated on Rodriguez's left hip that he didn't want to see Rodriguez play for the team again. Levine has denied the allegation.

"This is part of the mindset of what they're doing to this guy and working in conjunction with MLB to try to keep him off the field," Tacopina said.

The Yankees said "we relied upon Dr Christopher Ahmad and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital for medical diagnosis, opinions and treatment. The Yankees neither had any complaints from Alex Rodriguez pertaining to his left hip during the 2012 regular season and the Yankees postseason, nor did the Yankees receive any diagnosis pertaining to his left hip during that same period of time."

A spokesman for New York-Presbyterian, said the hospital had no comment on Rodriguez's treatment.

Also on Monday, a woman indicted last year on charges of stalking Yankees general manager Brian Cashman filed a petition in New York State Supreme Court asking for an order to block Tacopina from representing Rodriguez.

Louise Motherwell claimed Stephen Turano of Tacopina's firm has represented her in a New Jersey case. One of Motherwell's lawyers said last year she had had a consensual relationship with Cashman.