Published February 08, 2009
NEW YORK – A report that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in his MVP season of 2003 rattled the sports world, but it shouldn't have shocked Jose Canseco.
The former slugger turned tell-all author accused the three-time MVP of steroid use in his 2008 book "Vindicated."
Canseco wrote that Rodriguez didn't explicitly say, "I want to buy steroids," but instead asked where one would go to purchase them.
"If you want, I can introduce you to some guys," Canseco said he told Rodriguez. "In fact, I know a guy with plenty of access, and he also happens to be a very good trainer."
"'That would be good,'" A-Rod said, according to an excerpt from "Vindicated." "'I'd like to meet this guy.'"
Canseco said he called A-Rod the next day to tell him he had made arrangements for him to meet the trainer.
"When they showed up, I made the introductions: 'A-Rod, this is your trainer (and supplier). Max, this is your client, A-Rod,'" Canseco wrote in his book.
"I may not have seen him do the deed, but I set the whole thing up for him, just like he wanted. I saw the changes in his body in a short time. Hell, if you ask me, I did everything but inject the guy myself," Canseco wrote.
The New York Yankees star tested positive for two anabolic steroids, sources reportedly told Sports Illustrated in a story published Saturday on Sports Illustrated's Web site.
His name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a 2003 baseball survey, the magazine said. He reportedly tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone while playing for the Texas Rangers.
Canseco declined to talk about the SI report with the New York Daily News.
"I have no comment on the Alex Rodriguez issue," Canseco told the newspaper Saturday.
Rodriguez declined to discuss the tests when approached by SI on Thursday at a gym in Miami, where he lives in the offseason.
"You'll have to talk to the union," he told a reporter. Calls from SI to union head Donald Fehr were not returned.
An e-mail from The Associated Press to Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, was not immediately returned. The Yankees and Fehr had no comment.
In a December 2007 interview with "60 Minutes," three days after George Mitchell's report on drugs in the sport was released, Rodriguez denied using peformance-enhancing drugs.
"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field. ... I felt that if I did my, my work as I've done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level," he said.
Rodriguez played for the Rangers in 2003, when he won the AL home run title and MVP award. He was traded to the Yankees in 2004. He is drawing a major league-high $27 million salary after signing a record $275 million, 10-year contract with New York in 2007.
Rodriguez until now has had an offseason dominated by talk of disclosures in Joe Torre's recently released book. The former Yankee manager wrote of the pressure A-Rod puts on himself and the third baseman's need to command the stage. Torre said some in the Yankees clubhouse referred to Rodriguez as "A-Fraud," although Torre made light of that during interviews promoting his book, "The Yankee Years."
Baseball's drug policy prohibited the use of steroids without a valid prescription since 1991, but there were no penalties for a positive test in 2003.
As part of an agreement with the players' union, the testing in 2003 was conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.
The results of the testing of 1,198 players were meant to be anonymous under the agreement between the commissioner's office and the union. SI reported that Rodriguez's testing information was found after federal agents, with search warrants, seized the 2003 results from Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., in Long Beach, Calif.
That was one of two labs used by baseball in connection with the testing. The seizure in April 2004 was part of the government's investigation into 10 baseball players linked to the BALCO scandal, the magazine reported. Rodriguez has not been connected to BALCO.
Primobolan, also known as methenolone, is an injected or orally administered drug. It improves strength and maintains lean muscle with minimal bulk development and few side effects. Bonds tested positive three times for methenolone, according to court documents unsealed by a federal judge Wednesday.
Primobolan is not an approved prescription drug in the United States. Testosterone can be taken legally with a prescription.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.