A-Rod OK'd for PEDs prior to MVP season, report

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees works out on the field before a game on September 27, 2013 in Houston, Texas
Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees works out on the field before a game on September 27, 2013 in Houston, Texas (AFP Photo/Scott Halleran)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Suspended Major League Baseball player Alex Rodriguez asked for and received an exemption from the league to use a banned performance-enhancing drug during his all-star career.

A new book, "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era" alleges that prior to Rodriguez's 2007 MVP season, the disgraced New York Yankee slugger was given a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to treat hypogonadism (a testosterone deficiency.

Excerpts from the book were printed by Sports Illustrated on their website Wednesday.

"In 2007, of the 1,354 players subjected to testing, 111 were granted a TUE," the book said. "Only two, apparently including Rodriguez, received an exemption for 'androgen deficiency medications,' the category that would include testosterone."

The 38-year-old Rodriguez is suspended for the 2014 MLB regular season and playoffs for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

Rodriguez also asked for two other TUEs for the 2008 season, the book claims. He was given one for a different treatment for testosterone deficiency but denied the other which was thought to be a weight loss drug.

"In 2008, three major leaguers were granted exemptions to take drugs to treat hypogonadism. In fact, from the 2006 season through 2013, only 15 were granted for androgen deficiencies and hypogonadism, the conditions that under MLB's drug policy could require a medical testosterone boost," according to the book.

Major League Baseball on Wednesday defended its decision to grant theraputic use exemptions.

"The TUE process under the Joint Drug Program is comparable to the process under the World Anti-Doping Code," the MLB statement says.

"The standard for receiving a TUE for a medication listed as a performance-enhancing substance is stringent, with only a few such TUEs being issued each year by the [Independent Program Administrator].

"MLB and the MLBPA annually review the TUE process to make sure it meets the most up-to-date standards for the issuance of TUEs."

Rodriguez claimed his third MVP award in 2007 after hitting 54 homers and driving in 156 runs. In the offseason, Rodriguez inked a 10-year deal with New York that would pay him a guaranteed $275 million.