During the time he allegedly worked with Anthony Bosch to illegally improve his performance and bypass Major League Baseball’s drug-testing program, Alex Rodriguez spoke regularly with teenagers about the dangers of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Now that independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz has upheld Major League Baseball’s contention Rodriguez used illegal PEDs, slapping the beleaguered Yankees third baseman with a suspension for the entire 2014 season, it’s fair to say Rodriguez went out of his way to lie to young men and women, a reality that obviously upsets the man who arranged those speeches.
“As I said at the time of Major League Baseball’s suspension of Alex Rodriguez last August, I am disappointed and saddened by the decisions Alex has made that led to this ruling,” Don Hooton, president of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, said in a statement. “The Taylor Hooton Foundation fully supports the efforts made by Major League Baseball to eradicate illegal anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance enhancing drugs from the game.”
Rodriguez met Hooton shortly after Rodriguez’s 2009 confession of using illegal PEDs with the Rangers from 2001 through 2003. From 2009 through 2012, A-Rod made about a dozen speeches a year that were arranged by Hooton. As The Post reported last July, on Sept. 1, 2009, Rodriguez spoke at Milford Mill Academy in Baltimore, and in front of about 500 students, he signed a pledge to never again use illegal PEDs.
Hooton’s son Taylor used illegal PEDs as a teenager and committed suicide in 2003, and that tragedy sparked Don Hooton to dedicate his life to keeping illegal PEDs away from youngsters. As Don Hooton said in his statement, “I remain concerned, however, that we Americans continue to focus on the shiny objects, those few professional athletes who get caught using PEDs while over a million and a half of our middle- and high school children admit to using these drugs that are illegal without a prescription and have been proven to be seriously harmful to their health and wellbeing.”
“Let’s put that 1.5-million number into perspective,” the statement continued. “If, hypothetically, every single Major League player was using anabolic steroids, it wouldn’t fill a typical local high school football stadium. Yet, there are enough of our children using these drugs to fill up nearly every big-league ballpark in the country. Most adults, as well as our federal government, continue to be oblivious to this ongoing epidemic.”
With those words in mind, The Post called Hooton to ask how he felt about Rodriguez’s suspension resulting from MLB’s agreement with Bosch, who founded the South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis. In return for supplying information to MLB about Rodriguez and the 13 other players suspended for their Biogenesis involvement, Bosch received considerable financial help for his attorneys and public relations staff as well as security; MLB dropped its lawsuit against him; and MLB agreed to put in a good word for him to the legal authorities investigating him.
Bosch is being investigated by law-enforcement officials for allegedly selling illegal PEDs to minors.
Asked how comfortable he was with such an arrangement, given his expressed priority of keeping illegal PEDs away from teenagers, Hooton said, “Some has been written about those allegations. I’m not certain that those have been established as fact. I want to stay away from that one until we know what the facts are.”
Hooton’s foundation receives donations from MLB and the Yankees.
In a new initiative that will be announced shortly, Hooton said, he is developing an advisory board of major league players who will sign pledges to never use illegal PEDs.
http://nypost.com/2014/01/13/former-a-rod-ally-backs-ban/Social tagging: anabolic steroids > banned substances > cheat > Don Hooton > doping > drugs > education > Taylor Hooton Foundation