Primobolan, understood to be the substance Alex Rodriguez referred to as "boli" and reported by Sports Illustrated to be what triggered his positive drug test in 2003, is not and was not legal in the Dominican Republic, that country's top drug regulatory official told ESPNdeportes.com.
Dr. Pia Veras, who oversees the agency that monitors pharmaceuticals legally sold in the Dominican Republic, refuted the account Rodriguez told during his Tuesday press conference of his cousin getting "boli" legally over the counter in the Dominican Republic.
"What Alex Rodriguez stated at the press conference doesn't make sense," Veras told ESPNdeportes. "It is important for us to clarify that such substance has not been registered and is not currently registered for legal sale in Dominican pharmacies -- not now and the same applies for the years 2001 to 2003."
ESPNdeportes, which noted representatives of Rodriguez disputed Veras' account, reported having surveyed several Dominican pharmacies, all of which maintained Primobolan "is not available for legal purchase, over-the-counter or even with a prescription."
Testosterone, the other substance SI reports Rodriguez tested positive for in 2003, is legal over the counter in the Dominican Republic, the report stated.
Dr. Milton Pinedo, president of the Dominican Federation of Sports Medicine, was quoted in the report saying Primobolan is available in the underground market.
Following allegations in an SI.com article that preceded the magazine's release of a cover story, Rodriguez last week admitted to having taken performance-enhancing drugs in 2001-03 while with the Rangers.
Rodriguez said during his press conference Tuesday at the Yankees' Spring Training facility that his cousin -- later identified as Yuri Sucart -- injected him numerous times in 2001-03 with "boli," which he said was intended to give him an energy boost and he believed to be otherwise harmless.
"Going back to 2001, my cousin started telling me about a substance that you could purchase over the counter in the DR. In the streets, it's known as "boli" or "bole," Rodriguez said during the press conference.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.