Angels team officials allegedly knew of Tyler Skaggs' drug abuse 'long before' death, report says

Sporting News

A new report says two Angels team officials allegedly knew of former pitcher Tyler Skaggs' drug abuse "long before" his death in July.

According to ESPN, the Angels director of communications, Eric Kay, told federal officials he provided Skaggs with oxycodone and abused it with him for years and that two team officials knew of Skaggs' drug abuse before his untimely death.

The report also says Kay provided the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency with the names of five other players who he believed were abusing opiates while they were with the Angels.

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Kay also described an alleged meeting with Skaggs where he gave three "illegally obtained" oxycodone pills to Skaggs in the days leading up to his death:

The report states:

"Kay told investigators 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, according to the two sources. Kay told DEA agents he does not think the pills he obtained for Skaggs were the same ones the pitcher took the day he died because Skaggs typically would ingest the pills immediately after receiving them from Kay, the sources said. Skaggs also texted Kay the day the team left for Texas seeking more oxycodone, a request Kay told investigators he was unable to fulfill, the sources said."

He also reportedly said he visited the 27-year-old hours before his death and witnessed him snort "three lines of crushed opioids" and that Skaggs offered him drugs.

The Angels released a statement from president John Carpino in response to the report saying the team maintains a strict "zero tolerance" policy regarding illicit drug use.

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“We have never heard that any employee was providing illegal narcotics to any player, or that any player was seeking illegal narcotics,” Carpino said. “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.”

Skaggs died in a hotel room in Southlake, Texas on July 1 after choking on his own vomit. An autopsy report released on Aug. 30 found evidence of fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system. The Angels postponed their game with the Rangers later that day in wake of Skaggs' death.

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