A-Rod Paid Cousin Nearly $1 Million To Keep Quiet About PEDs

A-Rod Paid Cousin Nearly $1 Million To Keep Quiet About PEDs

By Paul Gaita 11/06/14

The Yankee slugger reportedly admitted to the league behind closed doors last year that he used steroids and manipulated drug tests.

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Federal prosecutors have accused Alex Rodriguez of paying his cousin almost $1 million to remain silent about the embattled New York Yankee slugger’s use of performance enhancing drugs (PED).

Documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, state that Rodriguez made four wire payments totaling $900,000 between June and September 2013 to his cousin and former personal assistant, Yuri Sucart, as well as other elements, including a home, a car, and medical insurance. After Rodriguez named his cousin as a supplier of PEDs in a 2009 Sports Illustrated story, Major League Baseball banned Sucart from working with the Yankees.

Sucart’s attorney, Jeffrey Sonn, then generated a threatening letter to Rodriguez, which prosecutors said “suggests defendant would maintain his silence” about the baseball star’s PED use in exchange for $5 million and a life estate for Sucart and his wife. Court records showed that Rodriguez was also paying up to $300,000 in medical insurance for his cousin and family for five years, and provided Sucart with both a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban and the right to stay in a home owned by Rodriguez if the settlement terms, including “preservation of confidential information” were all met.

The payment arrangement was revealed as part of the federal government’s effort to prove that Sucart could afford to pay a portion of the costs related to his federal public defender. Sucart is one of six individuals awaiting trial on charges of conspiring to distribute testosterone and human growth hormone, including Anthony Bosch, whose now-closed company, Biogenesis of America, reportedly provided PEDs to high school and professional athletes.

As assistant U.S attorney Michael Sullivan wrote in the Florida filing, “The government will prove that [Sucart] personally arranged meetings between Rodriguez and Bosch, where Bosch injected Rodriguez with PEDs; and that defendant received an ample cut of the payments Rodriguez made to Bosch.”

Rodriguez may be called as a witness against his cousin. Currently, he is negotiating a return to the Yankees for the 2015 season after a 162-game suspension for his involvement with Bosch. He is still owed $61 million on the final three years of his contract with the team.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites. 

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