© Nick Turchiaro, USA TODAY SportsTyler Skaggs died July 1.
A longtime public relations employee of the Los Angeles Angels told federal investigators he supplied deceased pitcher Tyler Skaggs with oxycodone and abused it with him over multiple years, according to an ESPN report published Saturday.
Eric Kay, a 45-year-old director of communications who has been with the Angels since 1998, told Drug Enforcement Administration agents he supplied Skaggs with three oxycodone pills in the days before the pitcher died July 1 in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room, but that he likely did not supply the drugs Skaggs ingested in the hours before his death.
Michael Molfetta, who is Kay's lawyer, confirmed Kay's statements to investigators to ESPN.
"We have never heard that any employee was providing illegal narcotics to any player, or that any player was seeking illegal narcotics," said Angels president John Carpino in a statement in response to ESPN's report. "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."
Kay, who ESPN reported had been in drug rehab treatment twice this year, took a leave of absence from the club prior to the Aug. 30 release of an autopsy report that showed Skaggs had oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his body at the time of his death. According to the report, Kay told agents he saw Skaggs ingest crushed up oxycodone pills and another substance he was not familiar with in his Texas hotel room.
Additionally, according to the report:
-Kay told agents he believes there were five other Angels who abused opiates.
-Two other club officials - former vice president of communications Tim Mead and another unnamed official - were aware Skaggs and Kay abused oxycodone together.
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-Kay's wife and mother say Kay was recovering from an April overdose when Skaggs texted him seeking drugs, and told Mead the team needed to get Skaggs "off his back."
Mead, who left the Angels in June to assume a position at baseball's Hall of Fame, denied knowledge of the texts.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Angels employee tells investigators he provided drugs to Tyler Skaggs
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