After a lengthy deliberation, an independent arbitrator upheld most of the 211-game suspension against Alex Rodriguez, suspending the New York Yankees third baseman for the entire 162-game regular 2014 season and entire postseason. Although the ruling by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz is a reduction of the original suspension Major League Baseball had sought, it will still end up costing Rodriguez his entire $25 million in salary and puts his entire career into question. “He will turn 39 in July and, coming off two hip surgeries and a 2013 season in which he played just 44 games, may not be able to return after sitting out an entire season,” notes ESPN. Rodriguez has vowed to appeal in federal court. Regardless, the suspension is effective immediately.
"The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one," Rodriguez said in a statement Saturday, according to USA Today. "This is one man's decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable.”
The saga began a year ago, when Miami New Times reported that a Miami clinic called Biogenisis had likely provided banned substances to a number of players, including Rodriguez. There have been a total of 13 suspensions due to the scandal, with Rodriguez getting the longest ban. A-Rod was the only one who appealed. For now his defiance appears to continue with one source telling ESPNNewYork.com that Rodriguez plans to participate in spring training because he is allowed to do so under a loophole in the suspension. Even if that’s the case though, the Yankees could still tell him not to go to Tampa.
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