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A-Rod's Cousin Yuri Sucart Faces Prison After Years of Doing the Ballplayer's Dirty Work

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"What's funny is that if Yuri really was my boss, I would've never said shit," Persaud told us. "But you want me to rat on this dude that's not even really my boss? I would've said he shot JFK if they wanted."

Clear of the courts, Sucart quickly joined A-Rod on the road, and for almost two decades, the pair became inseparable. In clubhouses from Seattle to Dallas to New York, the paunchy Sucart quietly stood in the shadows near his famed cousin's locker, setting up hotel rooms and arranging private travel.

By the time A-Rod earned a record deal in 2001 to play for the Texas Rangers, Sucart had a secret job — getting PEDs for his cousin. The world wouldn't know about Sucart's shadow role until long after A-Rod left the Rangers to play third base and win two more MVPs with the New York Yankees.

But in 2009, Sports Illustrated broke the news that Rodriguez had failed a supposedly anonymous 2003 steroid test while playing for the Rangers. That news changed the slugger's image forever and probably axed his Hall of Fame chances. It was also the beginning of a long, dark road for Sucart.

A-Rod called the drug he took "boli" and told the world that Sucart had ferried it up from the Dominican Republic. The news sparked a firestorm, and Sucart roasted in the tabloid flames. Reporters stalked his South Miami home. MLB officials grilled A-Rod and quickly banned Sucart from all clubhouses.

It couldn't have been worse timing for Sucart. As A-Rod's star had risen with the Yankees, his older cousin had bought up real estate in South Florida. But he'd lost heavily in the postrecession bubble. By 2008, three properties owned by Sucart were in foreclosure, with mortgages totaling more than $1 million.

Through it all, Sucart was a good soldier, never once giving an interview to the media. But his friends weren't so sanguine. "He practically raised Alex at times," said his buddy Alex Ball. "And he got F'd."

Despite the turmoil, Sucart still traveled with A-Rod. Records from Rodriguez's business show the slugger even upped Sucart's salary from $60,000 a year to $100,000.

Sucart, who was trying to lose weight, met Tony Bosch on a referral. But he quickly realized the man called "Dr. T" (though he had only an unrecognized degree from a Belizean school) could do much more. When Bosch provided small lozenges loaded with testosterone, Sucart quickly called A-Rod. The drugs had given him an "unbelievable sense of energy recovery," he enthused, according to a document from A-Rod's later arbitration case with the league.

In July 2010, Bosch met A-Rod for the first time in a Tampa hotel room during a Yankees road trip (not coincidentally, at the precise moment Rod­riguez had been stuck at 599 home runs for two weeks) with Sucart in tow.

Soon Bosch began designing elaborate regimens of human growth hormone and testosterone for the star, custom-built to beat MLB's tests. For the rest of that season and the start of 2011, Sucart ferried drugs and cash between the faux doc and the superstar — even disposing of syringes in a lobby bathroom after one meeting, according to Bosch's later testimony in A-Rod's arbitration.

Then Sucart began recruiting other players for Bosch. A-Rod's Yankees teammate Francisco Cervelli (who was later suspended 50 games over his Biogenesis ties) was brought in by Sucart, a source told us. Bosch's records also show a more disturbing client ­connection: Yuri's son, a budding baseball player at A-Rod's alma mater, Westminster Christian, appears at least five times in Bosch's records, including under a heading labeled "H.S."

Then in May 2011, tabloid reporters spotted Sucart in the team hotel during a road trip to San Francisco. The bad press riled A-Rod, who promised, "I'm handling it." When A-Rod got wind of his cousin's recruiting activities for Bosch, said a source quoted in Blood Sport, he was even angrier; he began to feel his cousin was mismanaging his money as well. "Alex didn't feel like he could trust the guy," a source said.

And on Thanksgiving Day 2011, A-Rod officially fired his cousin. The move came a few months after Sucart had filed for bankruptcy, listing more than $1.6 million in debts, most over foreclosures.

Bosch's clinic closed in late 2012, but Sucart's life continued its downward slide. In February 2013, Sucart even put a 2009 Yankees championship ring that A-Rod had given him up for auction online. It garnered $50,398.88. A few months later, Sucart's attorney at the time, John Ruiz, told reporters he was considering suing A-Rod for $5 million.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink