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Key witness in A-Rod case spills beans on TV

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NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball's key witness in its case against Alex Rodriguez said he designed and administered an elaborate doping program for the 14-time All-Star starting in 2010.

Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now shuttered Florida anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis, said in a 60 Minutes interview aired on CBS on Sunday night that Rodriguez paid him $12,000 per month to provide him with an assortment of banned drugs that included testosterone and human growth hormone.

Rob Manfred, chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, said during the news program that Bosch chose to co-operate in the investigation in part because he feared for his life.

MLB's suspension of Rodriguez was reduced on Saturday by an arbitrator from 211 games to 162, plus all playoff games next season.

Commissioner Bud Selig, who did not testify during the slugger's appeal, defended the largest suspension ever handed out under the Joint Drug Agreement.

"In my judgment his actions were beyond comprehension," Selig said on the show. "I think 211 games was a very fair penalty."

Bosch said he began working with Rodriguez -- who was motivated by his pursuit of 800 career home runs -- five days before the New York Yankees third baseman hit his 600th homer on Aug. 4, 2010. Bosch said the first words out of Rodriguez's mouth were: "What did Manny Ramirez take in 2008 and 2009?"

Ramirez was suspended 50 games in 2009 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers after testing positive for a banned drug, his first of two offences.

Of the 14 players suspended as a result of MLB's investigation into Biogenesis, Rodriguez was the only one to appeal the ban.

A self-taught practitioner who was once fined $5,000 for practicing medicine without a license, Bosch outlined his relationship with the three-time AL MVP. He said he designed the program to help Rodriguez maximize the effects of the drugs and remain clean in the eyes of baseball. Rodriguez never failed a test during the period in question.

Detailing a clandestine operation, Bosch said the duo used code words for the drugs like "gummies" for testosterone lozenges, which Rodriguez sometimes took right before games. Bosch said he once drew A-Rod's blood in the bathroom stall of a Miami restaurant.

Bosch also said he injected A-Rod with banned drugs because the former No. 1 draft pick with 654 career homers was afraid of needles.

Details of Bosch's relationship with Rodriguez have never been made public because the Joint Drug Agreement and Collective Bargaining Agreement requires confidentiality for both sides.

The players' association, which filed the appeal on Rodriguez's behalf, said in a statement it was disappointed MLB participated in the show.

"It is unfortunate that Major League Baseball apparently lacks faith in the integrity and finality of the arbitrator's decision and our Joint Drug Agreement, such that it could not resist the temptation to publicly pile-on against Alex Rodriguez," the statement said.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 13, 2014 C6

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