Legal Look: A-Rod not in the clear in steroid case

Eric Macramalla, Sports Legal Analyst
8/8/2014 4:02:10 PM
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Early Tuesday morning, Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch, accompanied by his lawyer, surrendered himself to Drug Enforcement Administration agents as part of charges related to a doping distribution ring. The DEA also arrested nine other people including Yuri Sucart, Alex Rodriguez's cousin. Not all those arrested are connected to Biogenesis; four people were associated with at least one other operation.

According to reports, Bosch will plead guilty to a conspiracy to distribute the anabolic steroid testosterone and could face up to 10 years in prison.

And that is good news for Alex Rodriguez.

Why you ask?

If Bosch had refused to cooperate with authorities, prosecutors could have forced A-Rod to testify under oath. At that moment, the suspended Yankee would have been forced to come clean on his dealings with Bosch or lie under oath so as to preserve his story that he never took PEDs between 2010 and 2012 (this assumes that Bosch did indeed supply A-Rod with PEDs).

Knowingly lying under oath is called perjury and it's a serious crime that can include prison time. Just ask Marion Jones, who spent six months in jail for lying under oath.

With Bosch cooperating with authorities, it seems unlikely that A-Rod would be called as a witness. So he may have dodged an enhanced bullet.

But wait – there is the case of A-Rod's cousin Yuri Sucart. Sucart is reportedly facing five counts of distributing the anabolic steroid testosterone, and each count carries with it up to 10 years in prison.

Federal authorities believe Sucart helped recruit MLB players to Biogenesis (including A-Rod), while also assisting in the operation of an unlawful PED distribution ring to teenagers in the Dominican Republic.

So once again, A-Rod is facing the risk of being called as a witness. If his cousin fails to cooperate with authorities, we could see A-Rod compelled to testify under oath.

There were also five other individuals arrested that have a connection to Biogenesis. So in theory, there may still be additional opportunities to compel A-Rod's testimony.

As for A-Rod and other MLB players like Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and Ryan Braun facing arrests of their own, that seems very unlikely. Typically, prosecutors go after the distributors and not the users. So Rodriguez is not going to find himself arrested for using PEDs.

That being said, A-Rod is not out of the PED woods just yet. Still some track to cover.

Alex Rodriguez (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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