NEW YORK YANKEES star slugger Alex Rodriguez was banned through the 2014 season in the latest doping scandal to blacken baseball.
Rodriguez is expected to appeal the It’s a 211-game ban, while a dozen other players accepted 50 game suspensions from Major League Baseball over their links to the Biogenesis clinic in Florida.
Rodriguez was connected to Biogenesis, a Miami-based anti-aging clinic that allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs.
MLB said he took testosterone and human growth hormone “over the course of multiple years,” and accused him of trying to obstruct he investigation.
He will be allowed to play during an appeal of the decision, if he chooses to do so. He is in the lineup tonight against the White Sox.
MLB was believed to be prepared to ban A-Rod for life under a provision in the collective-bargaining agreement that gives commissioner Bud Selig broad powers to punish players for conduct detrimental to the best interest of the game.
But the league could have faced an ugly, expensive legal battle in federal court if they took that harsh measure.
Now any appeal will go through MLB’s internal arbitration process, not a court of law.
Twelve other alleged Biogenesis clients were suspended today, but they all agreed to 50-game bans without appealing.
From the official release:
Rodriguez’s discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation. The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8th, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play.
Under the terms of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Rodriguez’s suspension will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez files a grievance challenging his discipline
Bud Selig released his own statement, saying the joint drug program did its job.
He’s already an outcast in New York, we can’t imagine what the reception will be like in Chicago tonight:
(additional reporting from © AFP, 2013)