Angels Deny Knowledge of Organization’s Reported Involvement in Skaggs’ Drug Use

on Oct13
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The Los Angeles Angels’ director of communications told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused the drug with the pitcher, according to an ESPN report published Saturday.

Director of Communications Eric Kay also gave the Drug Enforcement Administration names of five other players who he believed were also using opiates while on the Angels, the report stated.

Skaggs, 27, was found dead in a Texas hotel room on July 1, with the medical examiner labeling the death an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said that Skaggs had the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system along with alcohol.  

The team released a statement in response to the report, with Angels President John Carpino saying, “We have never heard that any employee was providing illegal narcotics to any player, or that any player was seeking illegal narcotics.”

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Carpino added, “The Angels maintain a strict, zero tolerance policy regarding the illicit use of drugs for both players and staff. 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.”

ESPN’s report stated that Kay, who has been with the Angels for 24 years, told investigators that he illegally obtained six oxycodone pills and gave three to Skaggs a day or two before the team left California for the road trip to Texas, but the Angels’ employee reportedly told DEA agents that he did not believe the pills he obtained for Skaggs were the ones that the pitcher took the day he died because the pitcher would allegedly ingest pills immediately after receiving them.

The report also states that Skaggs texted Kay the day the team left for Texas, requesting more oxycodone and Kay reportedly told investigators he was unable to fulfill that request.

Kay reportedly told investigators that he informed Tim Mead, the Angels’ former vice president of communications and Kay’s supervisor, about Skaggs’ drug use as early as 2017.

Mead left the Angels in June to become the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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