The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez arranged to buy documents from a now-closed South Florida anti-aging clinic to keep them away from baseball officials, some of the company's former employees are alleging.
Investigators have been looking into the activities at the clinic, Biogenesis of America, which is suspected of providing performance-enhancing drugs to numerous major league ball players, including Rodriguez, The New York Times reports
Rodriguez has already admitted using the drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers, but denies having used them since that time. But the clinic's former employees claim the Yankees star arranged with an intermediary to buy some of the facility's documents to conceal incriminating evidence.
A spokesman for Rodriguez denied the claims Friday, but Major League Baseball has concluded other players would try to buy documents and has been trying to thwart them by buying the documents itself.
Baseball investigators have been looking into Rodriguez since he admitted to using the drugs, but has not been able to get any information from federal authorities.
There are reportedly numerous documents from the clinic floating around, so the baseball league may instead focus on testimony from Biogenesis' former employees rather than the documents if the paperwork can't be authenticated.
Two people close to the investigation told the Times that the ex-employees were paid for the time spent talking with investigators, but it is not known if their statements are strong enough to be used to bring disciplinary action against Rodriguez or other ball players. And without a positive drug test, baseball officials have difficulty suspending players.
Rodriguez, who has not played yet this season while recovering from hip surgery, is the highest-paid player in baseball. He's five years into a 10-year, $275 million contract, which is the largest ever in American sports, and the Yankees still owe him $114 million through 2017.
But the star player missed all of spring training and isn't expected to return to play until the second half of this season – and as long as he is able to keep playing, the Yankees will need to keep him on the payroll.
Several other players have been implicated in medical records from the facility, tying them to banned substances like human growth hormones.
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