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A-Rod tested positive for stimulant in 2006 — New York Times source

Big League Stew

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(AP)

Tucked into the end of the seventh paragraph of a New York Times story published Sunday about the Alex Rodriguez suspension hearing and how it's gotten personal, was this note:

What is driving the battle on one side is a scorned player desperately trying to expose a process he considers unfair to him. On the other side are baseball officials who believe Mr. Rodriguez has been getting away with doping violations for years. According to people involved with baseball’s antidoping program, he failed a drug test for stimulants in 2006, a previously undisclosed charge.

This information, which was supposed to remain confidential, contradicts what Rodriguez previously has admitted to using, as Ken Davidoff of the New York Post notes:

Rodriguez, who has admitted previously to using illegal performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 through 2003 and denied using them since, tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2006, his third season with the Yankees. Rodriguez didn’t face discipline because a player must test positive for stimulants twice before his name becomes public

So, this revelation isn't going to get A-Rod into more trouble with MLB — it only might harm his reputation for those who care about him lying. "If he's lying about this, what else is he lying about?" The fight has been ratcheted up a notch, after A-Rod's lawyers demanded that Rob Manfred of MLB be removed from the panel overseeing his 211-game suspension hearing.

Back to the N.Y. Times for a moment:

The ferocity of the fight reflects a personal stake for the main protagonists.

A-Rod, Manfred, commissioner Bud Selig. It's become about them, or always was about them, rather than the integrity of baseball's drug program. Which, also, is what A-Rod's side wants us all to think.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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