MLB witness outlines A-Rod’s PED program
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 owner 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, the chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, said during the program that Bosch chose to cooperate in the investigation 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 five days before the New York Yankees third baseman hit his 600th career home run 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 offenses.
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 tested A-Rod’s blood in the bathroom stall of a Miami restaurant.
Bosch also said he injected A-Rod with banned drugs because the slugger with 654 career homers was afraid of needles.
Wagner makes figure skating team despite falls
BOSTON — The names on the U.S. Olympic figure skating team were still supposed to be a secret, so Ashley Wagner slipped under the stands to cry.
Hours after a performance she described as a “tearful little wimp out on the ice,” the two-time national champion was picked to go to the Sochi Games.
She finished a distant fourth at the U.S. Championships on Saturday night, and only three American women make the Olympics. But this event isn’t the only criteria U.S. Figure Skating takes into account.
“If you look at Ashley Wagner’s record and performance, she’s got the top credentials of any of our female athletes,” said the organization’s president, Patricia St. Peter.
So the third-place finisher, Mirai Nagasu, was passed over Sunday. Fifteen-year-old Polina Edmunds, who was second, was selected even though she has never competed in an international senior event.
Nagasu has some pretty impressive credentials herself — she was fourth at the 2010 Games as a 16-year-old. But U.S. Figure Skating’s selection guidelines consider only the past year, and Nagasu had mostly struggled until a resurgent performance at nationals.
The one no-brainer was Gracie Gold, who won her first U.S. title Saturday in a runaway.
Wagner finished fifth at the world championships and won the bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final, the next most important events in the selection criteria after this year’s nationals.
“I’m happy that my federation was able to see beyond one bad skate,” she said through tears once the announcement became official.
The Olympics will also be a homecoming for U.S. pairs champion Simon Shnapir, who was born in Russia. He gleefully said “We’re going to Sochi” in Russian when it was announced that he and partner Marissa Castelli were on the team. They will be joined by runners-up Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay.
The U.S. has three spots in ice dancing, and top-three finishers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani were picked. The top-two men’s finishers were also selected for the Americans’ spots: Jeremy Abbott and Jason Brown.
Rodman apologizes for not helping US missionary
BEIJING — Former basketball star Dennis Rodman apologized Sunday for not being able to help an American missionary detained in North Korea during his trip there to play in a game to celebrate the birthday of his friend and leader Kim Jong Un.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I couldn’t do anything,” Rodman told media on his arrival at Beijing airport from a weeklong trip. “It’s not my fault. I’m sorry. I just want to do some good stuff, that’s all I want to do.”
He said he would return to North Korea next month, but gave no details.
Rodman and the squad of retired NBA players he took to North Korea for an exhibition game marking Kim’s birthday have met with criticism in the U.S. because of North Korea’s human rights record and its development of nuclear weapons.
Rodman was also slammed for not using his influence with Kim to help free Kenneth Bae, the missionary in poor health who has been detained for more than a year for “anti-state crimes.”
Man City moves top of EPL, Liverpool in hunt
LONDON — Manchester City moved provisionally top of the Premier League with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle while Liverpool stayed in contention with a 5-3 win at Stoke as both teams benefited Sunday from controversial refereeing decisions.
Goals from Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo secured City’s 10th consecutive win over the Magpies as Manuel Pellegrini’s well-oiled scoring machine extended its unbeaten run in all competitions to 15 games.
But the result did not reflect the intensity of a game dominated by referee Mike Jones’ decision to cancel Cheikh Tiote’s apparent equalizer, ruling that Yoan Gouffran interfered with play in an offside position.
Negredo secured City’s win in added time while league top scorer Luis Suarez scored twice for Liverpool and Steven Gerrard converted a disputed penalty.
By wire sources