Baseball: I doped, admits New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez to federal investigators

New York Yankees batter Alex Rodriguez reacts as he struck out against the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh inning of their MLB American League game at Yankee Stadium in New York on Aug 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
New York Yankees batter Alex Rodriguez reacts as he struck out against the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh inning of their MLB American League game at Yankee Stadium in New York on Aug 13, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MIAMI (AFP) - New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has admitted to federal investigators that he took banned performance-enhancing drugs, after publicly denying it in the past, a report said Wednesday.

Rodriguez made the confession in a January meeting with agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecutors who granted him immunity, the Miami Herald reported, citing a summary of the talks.

The disgraced Yankee third baseman said he took steroids provided by Biogenesis, a south Florida anti-aging clinic named by authorities as a source of illegal testosterone and human growth hormone.

The former director of that clinic, Tony Bosch, last month pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute testosterone. He faces up to 10 years in prison, but could get a lighter sentence for cooperating with an MLB investigation.

"Rodriguez injected the HGH into his stomach," said the DEA report cited by the newspaper. "Rodriguez said Bosch told him the HGH would help with sleep, weight, hair growth, eyesight and muscle recovery."

The 39-year-old Yankee slugger said he paid Bosch $12,000 a month for the drugs, the report said. A total of 13 players, including Rodriguez, were suspended in 2013. Rodriguez initially received an unprecedented 211-game ban while the other 12 were banned for 50 games. Rodriguez's ban was eventually cut to 162 games - a suspension that he has finished serving. He missed all of the 2014 season, but is on course to return in 2015.

The testimony from the three-time American League Most Valuable Player is being used in the cases against Bosch and Rodriguez's cousin Yuri Sucart, who acted as a middleman, the Miami Herald said. In 2009, Rodriguez admitted that he took steroids while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003.