A source who was cited in a supermarket-tabloid report that said Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was involved in a high-stakes, illegal poker game in Beverly Hills in 2009 has admitted he wasn't actually at the game, the New York Daily News reported on Friday.
The source, who told Star Magazine that A-Rod was present at a game where cocaine reportedly was used, remained adamant that the Yankees slugger did attend an "illegal house game."
"I never played with him in a home game, but I know [someone who] witnessed him at one. It was an illegal house game," the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Daily News.
The Star report on Wednesday said that Rodriguez was at the home of investor and record-label owner Cody Leibel in late 2009 when violence broke out over unpaid poker debts and where cocaine also was openly used.
The report has prompted Major League Baseball to investigate the allegations, six years after the Yankees and MLB cautioned Rodriguez in 2005 to avoid such activities after the Daily News first reported the slugger frequented poker games in New York.
The Daily News reported on Thursday that a poker player who was at the game in question, and who was a named source in the Star story, said that A-Rod was not there.
"It's ridiculous," said Dan Bilzerian, a professional poker player. "He wasn't there, I'm telling you. He was playing in the World Series at the time."
MLB said Wednesday that it plans to discuss the matter with Rodriguez.
"We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation. As part of the investigation, the Commissioner's Office will interview Mr. Rodriguez," MLB said in a statement.
Rodriguez, rehabbing in Tampa, Fla., from knee surgery last month, declined to comment Thursday.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.