New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez said he plans to contest in federal court the ruling of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz suspending him for the entire 2014 season for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
In his decision, Horowitz reduced Rodriguez’s suspension from the original 211 games to 162 games and all potential playoff games in 2014.
Horowitz’s ruling upholds a good portion of the original 211-game suspension imposed by MLB on Rodriguez due to his connection to the Biogenesis clinic which allegedly supplied performance enhancing drugs to players.
“I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court,” Rodriguez said in his statement.
“I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension,” he added.
According to his spokesman Ron Berkowitz, Rodriguez plans on attending spring training, and will be allowed to participate due to a loophole in the suspension.
The third baseman’s side argues that if he is able to receive an injunction to stop the suspension, he will able to play and thus should prepare for the season.
The Yankees could tell him not to come to Tampa, Florida. Last spring training, Rodriguez was not with his teammates at all as he rehabbed from hip surgery.
The arbitrator’s decision will save the Yankees about $24 million in A-Rod’s 2014 salary, although the team still owes him about $61 million for 2015-17.
The decision could mean the end of Rodriguez’s playing career. He will turn 39 in July and may not be able to return after sitting out an entire season.
Twelve other players were suspended as a result of the investigation, although none for longer than the 65 games given to Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.
The other players were suspended 50 games, the punishment for first-time drug offenders stipulated by baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.