MIAMI - Yuri Sucart, Alex Rodriguez's cousin and the target of federal investigators because of his role in the Yankees third baseman's ongoing steroid saga, had refused to speak publicly, even after Rodriguez named him as his source for steroids during a spring training news conference in 2009.
For the first time Thursday, Sucart -- lying in bed at his home in a Miami suburb -- spoke publicly about the predicament that he and his family are in.
"The situation we are in right now, it doesn't make sense. I don't see how I can get us out of it," said Sucart, who faces federal charges of conspiring to distribute steroids for his alleged role with Biogenesis, the now-closed anti-aging clinic at the center of baseball's steroid controversy.
Sucart, who faces up to 10 years in prison, appeared unshaven and relatively gaunt with a blanket pulled up to his chest. He is suffering from a severe heart condition, according to a letter from his doctor that was shared with Newsday. He recently underwent heart surgery and doctors nearly amputated a leg, according to his wife, Carmen.
She does not believe he will survive to face trial for multiple counts of providing testosterone -- his trial is scheduled to begin in federal court on Feb. 9 -- and she wants him to be seen by the public before he dies.
"I'm trying to recover, but I feel weak," said Yuri Sucart, who barely resembles the chubby figure who accompanied Rodriguez throughout the superstar's career.
In his bedside interview with Newsday, Sucart, 52, talked of family. "It's the most important thing to myself," he said. "I worry about Carmen and my kids."
Carmen Sucart flicked off the lights minutes later, saying that Sucart was too ill for an extended interview.
But she said the family will not keep quiet any longer. "He's going to talk," she said. "He has a right to defend himself."
Carmen said her husband's health took a dive while he was in jail after being arrested in August. Her family could not immediately afford his $50,000 bond, she said.
Though Carmen refused to discuss the charges against her husband, she said he made "no errors . . . The mistake was to be loyal to Alex."
Rodriguez, 39, is set to rejoin the Yankees for the 2015 season after sitting out a 162-game suspension. His salary next season is $21 million.
Rodriguez originally was given a 211-game suspension as a result of MLB's investigation into Biogenesis. Thirteen players, including Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun, received suspensions of at least 50 games. Rodriguez was the only player to appeal the suspension, which eventually was reduced to a one-season ban (including the postseason, but the Yankees did not make it that far).
Rodriguez's attorney, Joe Tacopina, did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
Sucart has been hounded for interviews since 2009, when Rodriguez told the media that his older cousin had been his steroid source six years earlier.
"The reason I decided to come out is it's time already," Carmen Sucart said. "We had to cleanse our soul."
"This is what's left of Yuri," she said when introducing her husband, who shared a bed with an enormous plastic bag of full pill containers.
Even after a report on Wednesday that Rodriguez had implicated Sucart to federal agents when he admitted being a customer of Biogenesis, Sucart refused to answer any questions concerning Rodriguez.
"I don't want to talk about Alex," he said.
"He's so loyal," Carmen Sucart said. "He wants to die in silence."
According to a report in the Miami Herald on Wednesday, Rodriguez confirmed to federal agents and prosecutors in January that he paid Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch $12,000 a month for performance-enhancing drugs, received pre-filled syringes from Bosch and employed Sucart as a steroid runner.
In a plea agreement, Bosch admitted to providing testosterone to baseball players, from professionals to high school athletes. Six other people are charged in the case, and Bosch has agreed to testify against them if they go to trial.
Assistant U.S. attorney Michael Sullivan said in the filing that Rodriguez "has a prominent role" in the government's case that Sucart distributed testosterone and human growth hormone, suggesting that Rodriguez could be called to testify against his cousin.
Sullivan wrote: "The government will prove [Sucart] personally arranged meetings between Rodriguez and Bosch, where Bosch injected Rodriguez with PEDs, and that [Sucart] received an ample cut of the payments Rodriguez made to Bosch."
Newsday has obtained records revealing the government's evidence in the Biogenesis case. Nine big-leaguers are listed as having been given letters of immunity, including Rodriguez. Also given immunity is Jose "Pepe" Gomez, Rodriguez's longtime friend and business agent.
A federal judge in Miami recently unsealed a court filing that revealed Rodriguez had agreed to pay nearly $1 million and provide the home and an SUV to Sucart last year in the wake of a threat to reveal the "duties" that the cousin performed for him over the years. Rodriguez's real estate company also agreed to employ Sucart as a "property manager" at a $75,000 salary through 2017.
Carmen Sucart said on Thursday that the money went to lawyers and medical bills, and that Yuri is too broke to afford a proper legal defense.
U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer said Sucart "recruited" athletes to buy illegal substances. In 2009, MLB banned Sucart from the Yankees' clubhouse, charter flights, bus and other team-related activities after Rodriguez admitted using steroids while with the Rangers from 2001-03, saying Sucart obtained and injected the drugs for him.
In the Biogenesis case, Sucart is one of the last holdouts among his co-defendants to not agree to plead guilty to federal charges.
Sucart, who was born in the Dominican Republic, was raised as an immediate member of Rodriguez's family after Sucart was orphaned as a child, Carmen said. Since the beginning of Rodriguez's professional baseball career in the early 1990s, Sucart was his omnipresent handler.
"He cooked for him, he cleaned for him," Carmen said. "To have a brother like Yuri by your side, how much do you think that helped Alex?"