Crackdown May Make HGH More Popular

Crackdown May Make HGH More Popular

"I was young, I was stupid, I was naive," explained Alex Rodriguez on Feb. 9, 2009, in an interview with Peter Gammons. "And I did take a banned substance. For that, I'm very sorry and deeply regretful." The slugger claimed that he had stopped using performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, but a report published this week by the Miami New Times suggests that A-Rod was doping even as he sought forgiveness.

The newspaper has uncovered handwritten records of drug sales to Rodriguez—testosterone creams, IGF-1, and human growth hormone—from a now-defunct drug dispensary in South Florida. One document related to these transactions lists the name "ALEX ROD" alongside that of his cousin and acknowledged drug mule, Yuri Sucart. It's from a book marked "2009," in an entry dated Feb. 7. That would place the deal just two days ahead of A-Rod's public mea culpa.

Rodriguez denies the allegations, as has the Washington Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez, who’s also listed in the notebooks. And there may be good reason to question the evidence: The file described above gives Feb. 7, 2009 as a Monday, when it was in fact a Saturday. Another entry implicating A-Rod shows up in the "2010" book below the date Monday, Nov. 21, though the 21st fell on a Sunday in 2010. If we trust the listed days, then the records would seem to have been misfiled—those dates would match the days of the week for 2011 or 2005, not 2009 or 2010.

But if the records prove legitimate, funny dates and all, then the New Times scoop casts doubt on the presumed tapering off of the steroids era in professional baseball. It also illuminates a shady world of "anti-aging clinics," where hormones are handed out to athletes and entertainers, and to anyone else who'd like to shed some weight or harden their physique.

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