If I had to predict which U.S. shopping mall fixture Alex Rodriguez would blame for his crumbling reputation, I’d have opted for a tie between Abercrombie & Fitch and Sunglass Hut.  As Newsday’s Anthony Rieber explains, however, it’s another merchant thoroughly pissed off at being name dropped by the Third Baseman in successive public statements.

GNC, clearly not happy about having its name dragged through the steroid mud, issued a statement yesterday through company spokesman Greg Miller.

“GNC does not sell illegal anabolic steroids,” the statement said. “GNC is always troubled when an athlete who cheats himself and his profession attempts to implicitly or explicitly scapegoat another person or organization for his gross lapses in judgment, even if he was ‘young and stupid’ when it happened. GNC is confident that the public understands the difference between unlawful drugs that one’s cousin has to inject into the body and the legal, safe products for sale in its stores.”