New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez leaves legacy in shambles

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,MLB,Nationals,Brian McNally

A Miami New Times article published on Tuesday has again implicated New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez in a performance-enhancing drugs scandal. The consequences of that are only beginning for a former star whose own team is apparently hoping it can void his contract in the wake of the latest allegations.

The New Times story cited documents from a Coral Gables, Fla., anti-aging clinic that showed Rodriguez has continued to purchase illegal drugs from the facility owned by Anthony Bosch. ESPN later reported that Rodriguez has hired a high-powered law firm to defend himself against potential charges. The firm's first order of business was to deny any involvement with Bosch or the Biogenesis facility that allegedly provided the drugs.

To be fair, there are plenty of other professional athletes listed in Bosch's personal ledger, including Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, was not implicated in the purchase of any illegal drugs in the documents, Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, who was suspended 50 games last season for elevated testosterone levels.

Remember, Rodriguez has admitted he took performance-enhancing drugs between 2001 and 2003 but denies ever using them otherwise. But his name appeared in Bosch's documents 16 times. Rodriguez had hip surgery earlier this offseason after a miserable end to the 2012 season. He is expected to miss at least the first half of 2013.

If the New Times allegations prove true then Rodriguez has completely tarnished whatever remained of his legacy. The Yankees would love to void the remaining five years and staggering $114 million left on his contract. But that is a legal longshot and Rodriguez has not failed any drug tests.

In reality, even the punishments still aren't severe enough to send players away from performance-enhancing drugs. Cabrera is the prime example. His 50-game suspension could have left the Giants in ruins last season. After all, he was their best hitter. The team won the World Series anyway and cut ties with Cabrera, who simply signed a two-year, $16 million deal with Toronto. In his case, cheating still paid off handsomely. What does a reputation mean when a lifetime of money is at stake?

- Brian McNally

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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