Relaying details from an upcoming book on Alex Rodriguez by Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts, the New York Daily News reports today that Rodriguez may have started taking steroids as early as high school and is suspected of continuing his use of performance-enhancing drugs with the New York Yankees.
A front-page headline (right) reads, “A-Rod book bombshell” with text below adding, “Slugger may have taken HGH while playing for the Yankees” and, “Hints he took steroids as early as high school days.”
The report indicates that a high school teammate of Rodriguez’s told Roberts that A-Rod took steroids before being drafted as a No. 1 pick and that his high school coach knew it — an allegation the coach, Rich Hoffman, denied.
The book also indicates that two anonymous Yankees said they believed Rodriguez was using banned substances based on visual side effects, which reportedly led to Rodriguez gaining an unflattering nickname that referenced an increased pectoral size comparable to a woman’s chest. The report also notes that a clubhouse staffer suggested management had a suspicion that the third baseman may have been juicing.
[Rodriguez earned the nickname] after he put on 15 pounds in the offseason and seemed to develop round pectorals, a condition called gynecomastia that can be caused by anabolic steroids, [Roberts] writes.
In addition, an unnamed major-leaguer is quoted as saying Rodriguez and steroid-tainted pitcher Kevin Brown were seen together with human growth hormone – HGH – in 2004.
Brown, who was named in the Mitchell Report on steroids, denied through a lawyer that he ever shared the hormone with the highest-paid player in baseball.
Two other anonymous Yankees said they believed A-Rod was using based on side effects they saw – and a clubhouse staffer said management wondered if he was using banned substances.
“No one ever asked Alex directly that I know of, but there was a lot of suspicion in house,” the employee is quoted as saying.
The book, published by HarperCollins and set to be released May 12, also details Rodriguez’s long relationship with Angel Presinal, a Dominican trainer banned from clubhouses after a steroid incident in 2001.
Follow this link to read more from the Daily News.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.