According to an exclusive report by the New York Daily News, before his connection to Anthony Bosch and Biogensis was uncovered, A-Rod secretly met with the man in the middle of baseball's first steroid scandal, reformed BALCO kingpin Victor Conte, when the New York Yankees visited the Oakland A's in May of the 2012 season.
The report notes that A-Rod attempted to facilitate the meeting through one of Conte's more famous BALCO clients, former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski, but ended up showing up to the company's offices uninvited after Conte declined. According to Conte, A-Rod's purpose for requesting the meeting was to seek out advice and discuss legal products that would enhance his performance on the field.
This new information came to the surface just last week when Conte met with two investigators from Major League Baseball out in San Francisco.
“He was real secretive,” Veronica Conte, Victor's daughter, said of the Yankee third baseman. “He wanted to make sure no one was here.”
Conte said he met with Rodriguez and Romanowski for about 45 minutes. Conte said he believes Rodriguez was looking for products that would give him a legal edge, but that the Yankee didn’t want their transactions to become public knowledge.
“If the media knew I was talking to you, that would be bad,” Veronica Conte remembered Rodriguez saying. “We both have these histories. He was basically saying, ‘I can't have any trace of Victor Conte.’ ”
Conte agreed to consult with Rodriguez under the condition that he provide Conte with a blood test, a requirement for any athlete Conte works with “so that I know nothing funny is going on.”
He said he gave basic advice to Rodriguez and then Bosch by telephone after he reviewed the blood test; he told the embattled superstar and “his nutrition guy,” for example, to stop using a calcium-magnesium-zinc product because calcium blocks the absorption of zinc.
If what Conte says is to be believed, then it appears the meetings were on the up and up. However, given the personalities and reputations involved, there's always room for questions and even reasonable doubt, and I'm sure there will be plenty of both.
Of course there's a lot more to the lengthy story, including video of a sitdown interview the Daily News conducted with Conte. If you're not completely beaten over the head by the story at this point, I would encourage you to check it out and form your opinions based on what you read and what you hear. Otherwise, just carry on as if this circus will never end, because I'm pretty sure it never will actually end.
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- Victor Conte
- Alex Rodriguez
- Bill Romanowski