Bosch asserts his life was threatened

Updated: January 13, 2014, 4:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Anthony Bosch, the founder of now-shuttered South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis, said in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday night that after he rejected Alex Rodriguez's request for him to sign an affidavit, it was suggested he "leave town" until the case was over and that he was then offered money and a trip to Colombia.

Bosch said when he rejected the trip, his ex-girlfriend received a text in Spanish that said Bosch would not live until the end of the year.

The affidavit he refused to sign had said he never gave the New York Yankees third baseman performance-enhancing drugs, Bosch said.

Rodriguez's lead attorney, Joseph Tacopina, also appeared in an interview on the news show and denied it all.

"Absolutely not. He didn't bribe anyone. There was no allegation that he bribed anyone," Tacopina said. "And the notion that Bosch is now coming on a television interview without the benefit of cross-examination or an oath -- is laughable."

[+] EnlargeAlex Rodriguez
AP Photo/Kathy WillensAccording to Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch, Alex Rodriguez paid him $12,000 a month and passed more than 12 MLB-administered drug tests.

Baseball's key witness in its case against Rodriguez said on the CBS program that he designed and administered an elaborate doping program for the 14-time All-Star starting in 2010.

Rodriguez paid Bosch $12,000 per month to provide him with an assortment of banned drugs that included testosterone and human growth hormone, and Rodriguez passed more than 12 MLB-administered drug tests, Bosch said.

Baseball finally got its breakthrough with Bosch after it sued him. A lawyer advised Bosch to "align yourself with somebody as powerful as Alex."

In a scene out of a suspense movie, Rob Manfred, the chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, said he and a top league lawyer met with Bosch at a Miami restaurant. Bosch had chosen to cooperate in the investigation in part because he feared for his life, Manfred said.

"He was fidgety, nervous, uncomfortable," Manfred told CBS. "His principal concern from the very beginning was his personal safety."

"He told us that there had been threats on his life," Manfred continued. "Some of them were associates of baseball players, which was an issue of great concern to us, some of them were associates of Alex Rodriguez. ... The individual that was of greatest concern to Mr. Bosch was a known associate of Mr. Rodriguez."

Baseball and Bosch struck a deal that included security for Bosch in exchange for his testimony.

An arbitrator on Saturday reduced MLB's suspension of Rodriguez from 211 games to 162 -- the entire 2014 regular season, plus all playoff games.

The news program also displayed a heavily redacted document showing a payment of nearly $50,000 from "A-Rod Corporation" to Bosch's lawyer -- a sum that was returned.

The payment, according to Bosch, was part of an effort by Rodriguez and his people to keep Bosch quiet.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who did not testify during Rodriguez's appeal, defended the largest suspension ever handed out under the Joint Drug Agreement.

"In my judgment his actions were beyond comprehension," Selig said on the show. "I think 211 games was a very fair penalty."

Bosch said he began working with Rodriguez -- who was motivated by his pursuit of 800 career home runs -- five days before Rodriguez hit his 600th homer on Aug. 4, 2010. Bosch said the first words out of Rodriguez's mouth were: "What did Manny Ramirez take in 2008 and 2009?"

Ramirez was suspended 50 games in 2009 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers after testing positive for a banned drug, his first of two offenses.

Of the 14 players suspended as a result of MLB's investigation into Biogenesis, Rodriguez was the only one to appeal the ban.

A self-taught practitioner who was once fined $5,000 for practicing medicine without a license, Bosch outlined his relationship with the three-time AL MVP. He said he designed a program to help Rodriguez maximize the effects of the drugs and remain clean in the eyes of MLB. Rodriguez never failed a test during the period in question.

Detailing a clandestine operation, Bosch said the duo used code words for the drugs, like "gummies" for testosterone lozenges, which Rodriguez sometimes took right before games. Bosch said he once drew Rodriguez's blood in the bathroom stall of a Miami restaurant.

Bosch also said he injected Rodriguez with banned drugs because the former No. 1 draft pick with 654 career homers was afraid of needles.

The players' association, which filed the appeal on Rodriguez's behalf, said in a statement it was disappointed that MLB participated in the show.

"It is unfortunate that Major League Baseball apparently lacks faith in the integrity and finality of the arbitrator's decision and our Joint Drug Agreement, such that it could not resist the temptation to publicly pile on against Alex Rodriguez," the statement said. "MLB's post-decision rush to the media is inconsistent with our collectively bargained arbitration process, in general, as well as the confidentiality and credibility of the Joint Drug Agreement, in particular.

"As a result, the Players Association is considering all legal options available to remedy any breaches committed by MLB."

Baseball said in a statement later Sunday that it had informed the players' association it would respond publicly once the appeal is over.

"It is ironic that the MLBPA is complaining about MLB's participation in this program given that Mr. Rodriguez's lawyer is also participating in the show," the statement said, referring to Tacopina.

"Alex will continue to fight to vindicate his rights -- among the fans, and in a genuine judicial forum," Tacopina said later Sunday in a harshly worded statement that also attacked Selig and other principals involved in Rodriguez's case.

Rodriguez, 38, has denied he took illegal substances after 2003 -- he admitted in 2009 he took steroids from 2001 to 2003. He sued MLB and Selig in October, claiming they are engaged in a "witch hunt" against him.

"60 Minutes" reported it had more than 500 BlackBerry messages between Bosch and Rodriguez. Baseball connected the PIN of the messages to a phone owned by Rodriguez.

Said one message from a phone owned by Rodriguez: "Gummie at 1045am?... game at 1pm."

Rodriguez's lawyers have said they were talking about nutrition in their exchanges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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