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Will we be following Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez's pursuit of the home run record over the next few years the way we did with Barry Bonds--with steroids-inspired doubt?
If so, barring new allegations, our skepticism will be due largely to Jose Canseco, the admitted steroid user turned whistle-blower who's discussed A-Rod in each of his two books. In Juiced Canseco doesn't accuse A-Rod of anything but does say his reputation as being clean is unmerited. In the just-released Vindicated Canseco claims that A-Rod asked him about how to get steroids and that he introduced A-Rod to a dealer.
Canseco echoes these statements in a new interview with Jeremy Schaap for ESPN's E60, much of which is available here. Canseco says that A-Rod is "not who he portrays himself to be--not even close, by the way." He adds: "Ask him, point blank, did he ever use steroids. See what he says. Then ask him, at the same time, right after he gives an answer to that question, did [Jose Canseco] ever introduce you to a known steroid dealer. See what he says to both." Canseco goes on to threaten that he might out the dealer, given the name "Max" for the interview, if he's accused of lying about the introduction.
But A-Rod has already been asked, point-blank, about using steroids (many times, it seems). Shortly after the release of the Mitchell Report, which to Canseco's surprise did not name A-Rod, Katie Couric interviewed A-Rod for 60 Minutes.
Couric: "For the record, have you ever used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other performance-enhancing substance?"
Multiple sources reported that when A-Rod was told about Canseco's latest allegations he said: "I really have absolutely no reaction."
I can see this saga following the sequence of events involving Roger Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee, where one allegation was made, then mocked, prompting another and another until Congress stepped in and got itself mired in the he-said/he-said too.