Angels official provided Tyler Skaggs with oxycodone for years, lawyer says

CNN 1 month ago

A top public relations official with the Los Angeles Angels provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs, and abused the drug with him before the pitcher died earlier this year, the employee's attorney told CNN on Saturday.

The alleged drug abuse and a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation were first reported by ESPN.

ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Angels' director of communications, also gave the DEA the names of five other players who he believed were using opiates while with the Angels team.

    Attorney Michael Molfetta told CNN by phone, "Nothing in the article was inaccurate."

    When asked whether his client was cooperating with the DEA, Molfetta noted, "There is no formal cooperation agreement but it's very clear from that article that we have been cooperating with them."

    His client has been on paid leave from the Angels for at least 30 days, he said.

    Skaggs, 27, passed away July 1 in a hotel in Southlake, Texas, before the team was set to play the Texas Rangers. He was 7-7 in 15 starts this season.

    He died by choking on vomit after using drugs and alcohol, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. High levels of opioids, including fentanyl, oxycodone and oxymorphone, were found in his system, as well as alcohol, according to toxicology results. The death was an accident, according to an autopsy released August 30.

    According to the ESPN report, Kay told investigators he illegally obtained six oxycodone pills and gave three to Skaggs a day or two before his team left for its road trip to Texas.

    Angels President John Carpino insisted that officials with the team never heard that any employee was providing illegal drugs to a player or that a player was trying to get illegal narcotics.

    "The Angels maintain a strict, zero tolerance policy regarding the illicit use of drugs for both players and staff," he said. "Every one of our players must also abide by the MLB Joint Drug Agreement. We continue to mourn the loss of Tyler and fully cooperate with the authorities as they continue their investigation."

    Kay's attorney said his client is not well.

    "He's dealing with his own demons. He's going to be blamed for this. He doesn't feel good about that for obvious reasons," Molfetta said.

    The attorney said Kay, 44, is trying to get his sobriety squared away.

    Skaggs family attorney Rusty Hardin said the family appreciates the work that law enforcement is doing. They are "patiently awaiting the results of the investigation."

    Major League Baseball said it was not aware of Kay's assertions.

      "MLB will fully cooperate with the government investigation and conduct its own investigation when the government investigation is completed," the office said in a release.

      CNN has reached out to the DEA for comment.

      CNN's Adam Renault contributed to this report.


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      New York Daily News › Sports › 1 month ago
      Tyler Skaggs, the Angels pitcher who died of a drug overdose in July, regularly bought oxycodone from a high-ranking Angels employee, who had told at least two coworkers about it “long before” Skaggs’ death.
      USA Today › Sports › 1 month ago
      An Angels PR employee told federal investigators he supplied late pitcher Tyler Skaggs with oxycodone and abused it with him. Skaggs died in July.
      One America News Network › Sports › 1 month ago
      A Los Angeles Angels employee admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs, used the drug with the late pitcher for years, and that the team knew about Skaggs' drug
      The New York Times › Sports › 1 month ago
      A Los Angeles Angels employee admitted to federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs, used the drug with the late pitcher for years, and that the team knew about Skaggs' drug abuse, ESPN reported Saturday.
      The Wall Street Journal › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
      Angles pitcher Tyler Skaggs died in July with oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his system. An Angels employee said he provided oxycodone to Skaggs and abused it with him.
      CBS News › 1 month ago
      Tyler Skaggs, the Los Angeles Angels pitcher who died this summer, was reportedly given drugs by a team employee. Skaggs was found dead in a Texas hotel in July. An autopsy found opioids in his system. According to ESPN, an Angels public relations...
      Fox News › Sports › 1 month ago
      A public relations employee for the Los Angeles Angels told federal investigators he supplied oxycodone to late pitcher Tyler Skaggs and abused the drug with him for years, according to a report published Saturday by ESPN.
      Los Angeles Times › Sports › 1 month ago
      Report: Angels employee provided Tyler Skaggs with opioids
      New York Post › Incident › 1 month ago
      A team employee of the Los Angeles Angels supplied pitcher Tyler Skaggs with opiates before the player died suddenly of a drug overdose in July, ESPN reported Saturday. Skaggs, 27, died in his Texas hotel room July 1 from choking on his own vomit. An...
      Breitbart › Sports › 1 month ago
      Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs received his drugs from a team PR official, a report says.
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