According to a new book, Major League Baseball officials allowed New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to make use of Testosterone during his 2007 MVP season.

The book, Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era by Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts revealed that Alex Rodriguez was one of two players that season who were granted therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for androgen deficiency medications. It was further revealed that exemption to A-Rod was given two days before the start of spring training. According to the book excerpt, Major League Baseball entered into evidence several exemptions that were requested by Rodriguez since he joined the Yankees. It is surely a huge surprise for many as MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred called Testosterone “the mother of all anabolics” and remarked that testosterone exemptions are very rare as some people who have been involved in this field feel that with a young male, healthy young male, the most likely cause of low testosterone requiring this type of therapy would be prior steroid abuse.

Rodriguez hit a major-league leading 54 homers with 156 RBI during the 2007 season. The baseball star was recently suspended from baseball for using banned performance enhancing drugs that he purchased from the now-defunct Biogenesis Clinic.

A-Rod also applied for two other exemptions in 2008. According to the book, A-Rod, the American professional baseball third baseman for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball, was given permission to use Clomid that is prescribed to men diagnosed with hypogonadism and may also be used to prevent the formation of excess estrogens associated with the use of harsh and aromatizable steroids. MLB however denied him permission to use Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) that is used for weight loss while also producing Testosterone.

In a statement, MLB said all decisions regarding whether a player shall receive a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) under the Joint Drug Program are made by the Independent Program Administrator (IPA) in consultation with outside medical experts, with no input by either the Office of the Commissioner or the Players Association. It was added that the process is confidentially administered by the IPA, and MLB and the MLBPA are not even made aware of which players applied for TUEs and the TUE process under the Joint Drug Program is comparable to the process under the World Anti-Doping Code.

The MLB officials also added that 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 IPA. It also revealed that MLB and the MLBPA annually review the TUE process to make sure it meets the most up-to-date standards for the issuance of therapeutic use exemptions. MLB officials also remarked MLB and the MLBPA have publicly issued the IPA’s annual report as recommended by the Mitchell Report since 2008 about which documents how many TUEs were granted for each category of medication and further added that we believe this high level of transparency helps to ensure the proper operation of the TUE process.

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