ESPN is reporting that the drug – “boli” – that Alex Rodriguez claims he procured otc (over the counter) legally in the Dominican Republic could not be accurate. Here’s the report as found on ESPN.com.
By Yoel Adames
Archive SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — According to the official in charge of the agency which regulates pharmaceutical drugs in the Dominican Republic, Primobolan was not available for legal purchase, over-the-counter or with a prescription in his country between 2001 and 2003.
Dr. Pia Veras, who oversees the regulatory agency, told ESPNdeportes.com that Primobolan is known as “boli” in the streets of Dominican Republic, and was not legal for purchase during the aforementioned years.
“What Alex Rodriguez stated at the press conference [in Tampa] doesn’t make sense,” Veras said. “It is important for us to clarify that such substance has not been registered and is not currently registered for legal sale in Dominican pharmacies — not now and the same applies for the years 2001 to 2003.”
A representative of Rodriquez’s disputed the accuracy of the ESPNDeportes.com report.
Veras allowed ESPNdeportes.com to check the official records of the agency, which oversees, monitors and tracks the pharmaceutical inventory that is legally sold in the Dominican Republic.
ESPNdeportes.com reached out to numerous pharmacies in locations such as La Romana, Santiago, San Pedro de Macoris, Bani and barrios like Juan Baron and Palenque. The result was identical: each pharmacy reported that the substance Primobolan is not available for legal purchase, over-the-counter or even with a prescription.
Contrary to Primobolan, testosterone is available as an over-the-counter steroid in Dominican pharmacies.
Rodriguez, who tested positive to Primobolan and testosterone, as reported by SI, said Tuesday at Yankees spring training that his cousin (Yuri Sucart) repeatedly injected him from 2001 to ’03 with a mysterious substance from the Dominican Republic. Rodriguez explained that they bought the over-the-counter drug, which he termed “boli,” from a pharmacy in the Dominican Republic.
“The same applies for the period of time [2001-03] as mentioned in Alex Rodriguez’s confession,” added Vera, who conducted an examination of official records in chronological order starting in the year 2000. “And we do keep track of every single product which means that no pharmacy can legally sell a substance if it’s not properly registered here”.
Dr. Milton Pinedo, president of the Dominican Federation of Sports Medicine, said that the substance Primobolan is available in the underground market of the Dominican Republic.
“No pharmacy carries this product; no pharmacy has this product as registered in its inventory,” sadi Pinedo, who oversees the anti-doping testing of Dominican athletes at Olympic level prior to international competitions. “You can get this but you have to go to the underground market.”
Another alternative is the Internet.
“A quick search will show that there’s a huge market out there which means that you don’t need to travel to the Dominican Republic to get this stuff — you simply need a credit card,” Pinedo added. “Legally, no one here sells Primobolan.”
Yoel Adames is a contributor to ESPNdeportes.com.
If Sports Illustrated’s report is true, this news could surpass all the hype surrounding Barry Bond’s reported use of performing enhancing drugs. Here’s the report as found on si.com.
Sources tell SI Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003
By Selena Roberts and David Epstein
In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.
Rodriguez’s name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball’s ’03 survey testing, SI’s sources say. As part of a joint agreement with the MLB Players Association, the testing was conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.
When approached by an SI reporter on Thursday at a gym in Miami, Rodriguez declined to discuss his 2003 test results. “You’ll have to talk to the union,” said Rodriguez, the Yankees’ third baseman since his trade to New York in February 2004. When asked if there was an explanation for his positive test, he said, “I’m not saying anything.”
Phone messages left by SI for players’ union executive director Donald Fehr were not returned.
Though MLB’s drug policy has expressly prohibited the use of steroids without a valid prescription since 1991, there were no penalties for a positive test in 2003. The results of that year’s survey testing of 1,198 players were meant to be anonymous under the agreement between the commissioner’s office and the players association. Rodriguez’s testing information was found, however, after federal agents, armed with search warrants, seized the ’03 test results from Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., of Long Beach, Calif., one of two labs used by MLB in connection with that year’s survey testing. The seizure took place in April 2004 as part of the government’s investigation into 10 major league players linked to the BALCO scandal — though Rodriguez himself has never been connected to BALCO.
The list of the 104 players whose urine samples tested positive is under seal in California. However, two sources familiar with the evidence that the government has gathered in its investigation of steroid use in baseball and two other sources with knowledge of the testing results have told Sports Illustrated that Rodriguez is one of the 104 players identified as having tested positive, in his case for testosterone and an anabolic steroid known by the brand name Primobolan. All four sources spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the evidence.
Primobolan, which is also known by the chemical name methenolone, is an injected or orally administered drug that is more expensive than most steroids. (A 12-week cycle can cost $500.) It improves strength and maintains lean muscle with minimal bulk development, according to steroid experts, and has relatively few side effects. Kirk Radomski, the former New York Mets clubhouse employee who in 2007 pleaded guilty to illegal distribution of steroids to numerous major league players, described in his recent book, Bases Loaded: The Inside Story of the Steroid Era in Baseball by the Central Figure in the Mitchell Report, how players increasingly turned to drugs such as Primobolan in 2003, in part to avoid detection in testing. Primobolan is detectable for a shorter period of time than the steroid previously favored by players, Deca-Durabolin. According to a search of FDA records, Primobolan is not an approved prescription drug in the United States, nor was it in 2003. (Testosterone can be taken legally with an appropriate medical prescription.)
Rodriguez finished the 2003 season by winning his third straight league home run title (with 47) and the first of his three MVP awards.
Because more than 5% of big leaguers had tested positive in 2003, baseball instituted a mandatory random-testing program, with penalties, in ’04. According to the 2007 Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball, in September 2004, Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the players’ union, violated an agreement with MLB by tipping off a player (not named in the report) about an upcoming, supposedly unannounced drug test. Three major league players who spoke to SI said that Rodriguez was also tipped by Orza in early September 2004 that he would be tested later that month. Rodriguez declined to respond on Thursday when asked about the warning Orza provided him.
When Orza was asked on Friday in the union’s New York City office about the tipping allegations, he told a reporter, “I’m not interested in discussing this information with you.”
Anticipating that the 33-year-old Rodriguez, who has 553 career home runs, could become the game’s alltime home run king, the Yankees signed him in November 2007 to a 10-year, incentive-laden deal that could be worth as much as $305 million. Rodriguez is reportedly guaranteed $275 million and could receive a $6 million bonus each time he ties one of the four players at the top of the list: Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), and an additional $6 million for passing Bonds. In order to receive the incentive money, the contract reportedly requires Rodriguez to make extra promotional appearances and sign memorabilia for the Yankees as part of a marketing plan surrounding his pursuit of Bonds’s record. Two sources familiar with Rodriguez’s contract told SI that there is no language about steroids in the contract that would put Rodriguez at risk of losing money.
Arguments before an 11-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena are ongoing between government prosecutors and the players’ association over the government’s seizure of the test results from the Long Beach lab. The agents who collected the material had a search warrant only for the results for the 10 BALCO-linked players. Attorneys from the union argue that the government is entitled only to the results for those players, not the entire list. If the court sides with the union, federal authorities may be barred from using the positive survey test results of non-BALCO players such as Rodriguez in their ongoing investigations.
Update… Are They Getting Back Together? C-Rod came to A-Rod defense recently as he sat down and begged forgiveness for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003.
The buzz is out that the best baller in the Major Leagues cannot keep his beautiful wife happy. Cynthia Rodriguez (C-Rod) is set to file for a divorce on Monday from slugger Alex Rodriguez (A-rod). The rumor is that Madonna is up to her old tricks and may be letting A-Rod get some late-night batting practice in with her.
And he told everyone he didn’t want to mess up his swing during the home-run derby… he wanted to say that Madonna needed him for her derby that night.
ABC News Photo Illustration
Last night, Jose Canseco did it again by dropping names of baseball players who he believes used performing enhancing drugs. The biggest name that he mentioned is also the games best player Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez has refused to deny the allegation and has only offered a no comment response.
Cancesco’s book, Vindicated, will be available at you favorite book store tomorrow. Click here for an excerpt.