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Major League Baseball issues a statement about the A-Rod therapeutic use exemptions. But questions remain.

Jul 2, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT

source: AP

Earlier today a book excerpt was released in which it was revealed that Alex Rodriguez received therapeutic use exemptions from Major League Baseball for performance enhancing drugs, including testosterone, for at least the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

A few moments ago, Major League Baseball issued the following statement:

“All decisions regarding whether a player shall receive a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) under the Joint Drug Program are made by the Independent Program Administrator (IPA) in consultation with outside medical experts, with no input by either the Office of the Commissioner or the Players Association. The process is confidentially administered by the IPA, and MLB and the MLBPA are not even made aware of which players applied for TUEs.

“The TUE process under the Joint Drug Program is comparable to the process under the World Anti-Doping Code. The standard for receiving a TUE for a medication listed as a performance-enhancing substance is stringent, with only a few such TUEs being issued each year by the IPA. MLB and the MLBPA annually review the TUE process to make sure it meets the most up-to-date standards for the issuance of TUEs.

“As recommended by the Mitchell Report, since 2008 MLB and the MLBPA have publicly issued the IPA’s annual report, which documents how many TUEs were granted for each category of medication. We believe this high level of transparency helps to ensure the proper operation of the TUE process.”

One can’t take issue with any of the facts asserted in that statement. However, the “since 2008” thing about TUE allowances doesn’t address what A-Rod was doing in 2007, which is when it was reported he received a TUE for testosterone. Also, the reference to the Independent Program Administrator and his or her consultations with “outside medical experts” ignores the fact that, per the excerpt in the book, baseball did not yet have an expert medical panel to advise the IPA in 2007.

So, yes, the system for TUE may be excellent now. But it was not the same in 2007 and before, and I believe the claims in the book excerpt still raise some interesting questions about how baseball handled such matters in the past and what — and why — A-Rod was allowed to take legally before he turned to illegal means to obtain performance enhancing drugs.

  1. clydeserra - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    and he failed a test when now?

    I still maintain that this Boesch guy was selling snake oil

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      I don’t think he ever did fail a test.

      Say, as long as we are on the topic – you do know that possession of banned substances is a violation, and that is what he was suspended for.

    • adventuresinfresno - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM


      • clydeserra - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        and steroids/PEDs were banned then?

  2. yahmule - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Ah, yes, tend that legacy with care, Budrick.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      “Buddus Dickus” and “A-Wodewick,” in Life of Brian.

  3. ahrmon - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Bonds never tested positive. And yet…

  4. bluesoxbaseball - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    If it were so confidential, how did Rob Manfred have it to introduce as an Exhibit at the hearing? According to the excerpt, it was introduced at the hearing and made public now because the authors got a hold of the hearing transcript. (I would love to know how they got the transcript.)

    • paperlions - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      It says that MLB and the MLBPA are made aware of who applied. They likely are made aware of who was approved for a TUE….just not who was turned down.

      • righthandofjustice - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Not according to Miguel Tejeda and an unnamed player Michael Lardon represented.

        Tejeda and Lardon made statements about MLB repeatedly rejected their stimulant exemption applications and Lardon said his client eventually went to MLBPA to get the decision overturned. MLBPA may not know about PED approvals or rejections but MLB do.

      • paperlions - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        As the statement notes, MLB does NOT consider applications for TUE, an outside medical expert does. The fact that players conflate the medical experts rejection with MLB doesn’t mean that MLB had anything to do with the rejection. If Tejada then when and whined to the MLBPA to try to get the decision overturned so that he could take PEDs that he didn’t have a valid medical need for….well, that’s on him for informing other parties.

      • righthandofjustice - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        What these players implied was MLB knew about their applications, and approval/rejection status.

        They asked for the reasons why they were rejected. Why can’t MLB tell the world what are the criteria for granting a PED “exemption”?

        Also, I never said Tejeda went to MLBPA to get his rejection overturned. It was Michael Lardon’s client, apparently not Tejeda.

        Haul Bud Selig to the Congress again and we will see how fast he admit he knew everything.

      • mazblast - Jul 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Sure, there was no input from MLB or the MLBPA. But how many independent medical experts kept their contracts if they failed to approve the TUEs?

        It’s exactly the same as being a team physician–If you don’t rule the way management wants you to rule, you become a former team physician. It you’re a player’s physician and don’t rule the way the player (or his handlers) want, you become his former physician.

  5. El Bravo - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Once again this proves pie is better than cake.

    • dluxxx - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Only if we’re talking about pumpkin or sweet potato pie. Otherwise, I’ll always err on the side of ice cream cake.

      • phantomspaceman - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        I could eat a whole Fudgie the Whale cake right now and not feel bad about it.

    • happytwinsfan - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      (Ice cream + chocolate syrup) > (pie*cake)

  6. righthandofjustice - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    A few interesting points:

    (1) Although MLB pointed the finger at the agency who recommended giving steroid exemptions to A-Rod and probably others, they can’t deny that agency was hired by them and they never have such steroid exemption rule and criteria for granting such exemptions made known to the public. MLB only let the world know about stimulant exemptions like Adderall.

    (2) Through their statement, MLB admitted they knew all alone players have been using steroids after the Mitchell Report. In fact, they granted them exemptions secretly. So much for their “tough” stance against PEDs. Everything was just theatrical.

    (3) Who else have been granted steroid exemptions? Bonds? Clemens? Canseco?

    MLB and Commissioner B.S. are smelling funnier and funnier every day

  7. Old Gator - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    2007 is about when StrayRoid was juggling wife Cynthia and Madonna. No wonder he needed additional testosterone.

  8. disgracedfury - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    A-Rod is a shady lying man who should be out of baseball….and so should Manfried and Selig.

  9. 4cornersfan - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:59 AM

    That is the worst wig. It might look a little better if he would put in on straight.

    • mazblast - Jul 3, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      Nah, the rugs worn by Donald Trump and former Rep. James Traficante are far worse. As far as I know, that’s just bud’s normal bad real hair.

  10. campcouch - Jul 3, 2014 at 5:58 AM

    MLB and the PA allowing a third party to approve substances that they deem PEDs…and the best they can offer is that MLB/PA checked to see if their procedures were correct. Wow. Good thing the arbitrator didn’t force Selig to face Rodriguez like he requested. There’s bound to be more shadiness revealed.

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