This was a pretty quiet year on the Alex Rodriguez front as he served out his year-long suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis scandal, but just days after being reinstated by the Yankees, he’s back in the news again. And as usual, it has nothing to do with anything on a baseball field.
According to Michael O’Keeffe, Christian Red, and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News, Rodriguez allegedly paid his cousin Yuri Sucart nearly $1 million to stay silent about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Alex Rodriguez’s infamous “Cousin Yuri Sucart” threatened to expose the Yankee superstar’s doping secrets unless the scandal-ridden slugger coughed up “enormous sums of money,” according to court papers filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Rodriguez caved, entering into a confidential settlement with Sucart on June 5, 2013, agreeing to pay Sucart one $700,000 payment for his silence, in addition to three more payments made to Sucart that totalled $200,000.
In a Dec. 18, 2012 letter, Sucart’s former attorney, Jeffrey Sonn, had demanded $5 million and a “life estate” for Sucart and his wife, according to the court papers.
Sucart is currently a defendant in a federal case involving Biogenesis. He has pleaded not guilty. The Daily News story suggests that Rodriguez could potentially be a witness against Sucart.
There’s a long history between these two, as Rodriguez admitted in 2009 that he received performance-enhancing drugs from Sucart when he was a member of the Rangers. The Yankees told Rodriguez to keep Sucart away from the team shortly after that. Rodriguez remained in contact with Sucart anyway and even got him a duplicate 2009 World Series ring. Sucart later sold it in an auction.
Rodriguez isn’t going to win in the court of the public opinion at this point and what was given to Sucart will be viewed as hush money, but couldn’t you also call it extortion?
Here’s A-Rod’s response, via his spokesman Ron Berkowitz. It’s basically a non-statement statement: