Report: Angels knew of Tyler Skaggs’ drug use ‘long before his death’

Tyler-Skaggs

Former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. (Chris Carlson/AP)

A Los Angeles Angels public relations employee told U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents that he provided Tyler Skaggs with oxycodone and used it with the pitcher for years, according to a report from ESPN.

As per the report, Angels’ director of communications Eric Kay also told the U.S. federal investigators that two team officials had been made aware of Skaggs’ drug use “long before his death.” Kay also reportedly gave investigators the names of five other players “who he believed were using opiates while they were Angels.”

Michael Molfetta, Kay’s lawyer, confirmed the details of his client’s statements to the DEA to ESPN.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area on July 1 before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. A Texas coroner said in a Aug. 30 report that Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system.

The family of Skaggs said in a statement released in the wake of the coroner’s report that it was startled to learn that a club employee “may” be part of the investigation into the 27-year-old’s death.

An MLB spokesman said at the time that the league had been unaware of the allegation and planned to investigate.

— With files from Associated Press

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