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Alex Rodriguez Carries Steroid Baggage Again

Luggage, or in a more accurate term baggage, is something that the New York Yankees have become used to carrying in recent year. With Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, and most recently, Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees have a rich, recent history of being embroiled in steroid scandals. Fresh off of another World Series victory and coming out of a winter without controversy, 2010 was supposed to be the year that was all put behind them.

Unfortunately, that first piece of luggage always finds its way back around the carousel, and it eventually finds its owner. Unfortunately, the baggage again belongs to Alex Rodriguez.

On Monday, Rodriguez acknowledged that he is cooperating with authorities investigating a Canadian doctor believed to have conspired to smuggle human growth hormone and the performance enhancing drug Actovegin into Canada and the United States. Rodriguez’s connections to the doctor, Anthony Galea, are cloudy at best. He is known to have seen a chiropractor, who himself has connections to Galea, as part of his rehabilitation after hip surgery in 2009, but when questioned by the Yankees initially, told the team that he had never been seen by Galea directly.

However, according to the New York Times investigators’ records indicate that Galea had treated Rodriguez in the past. Coupled with his denial to answer questions about his dealings with Galea when probed by the media on Monday, Rodriguez again find himself in a sticky situation, both in regards to steroids and his relationship with the Yankees.

Now, in fairness, this investigation has also involved the questioning of Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, who saw Galea last season for treatment of calf injury using Galea’s blood spinning
 techniques, which the doctor used to help facilitate healing. Another client of Galea’s, Tiger Woods, will also likely be questioned about his connection to the doctor. Woods himself is no stranger to controversy, as he currently tries to rebuild his life after a torrent of infidelity claims have derailed his career and marriage in recent months.

Of course, the concern of the Yankees and, more importantly, Major League Baseball, has to be the correlation between these new events and the now infamous BALCO investigation, which really blew the cover off of the steroid problem in baseball.

Ideally, both sides want to believe that Rodriguez, Reyes, and any other athlete that may be tied to Galea are telling the truth and that their dealings with him were purely legal medical practices.

Whether or not the court of public opinion casts their verdict first is another story. Until then, someone is going to be saddled with baggage, and Rodriguez is the last person left standing near the carousel, so for now, he needs to claim the bag.