According to Major League Baseball Network the decision in the case of Yankees’ star Alex Rodriguez’s involvement with the Biogensis performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal has finally been made official. The Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball announced arbitrator Fredric Horowitz’s decision to suspend A-Rod for an unprecedented 162 games including all post-season games. Even though the suspension was reduced from an unprecedented 211 games to 162 games. This is the longest PED related suspension in baseball history.
The Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA) has just issued the following statement:
The MLBPA disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez, even despite the Arbitration Panel’s decision to reduce the duration of Mr. Rodriguez’s unprecedented 211-game suspension. We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision. In accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the JDA, the Association will make no further comment regarding the decision.
Alex Rodriguez has also issued a statement:
The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. 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. 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.
Apparently A-Rod and his attorneys still intend, as was reported earlier, to take the case to federal court. That process can take up to three years or more. Rodriguez can file for a stay against the suspension handed out by MLB with the courts. If Rodriguez is issued a stay he will be able to continue playing this season and possibly beyond.
If a stay is not granted by the courts A-Rod’s career is essentially over. The third baseman is turning 39 this July. Even assuming the suspension is eventually overturned in federal court he would be well upwards of 40 years old, an age too late for most any player to make a comeback and in the past couple of years Rodriguez has undergone multiple surgeries on both hips.
Now the fate of Alex Rodriguez’s Major League Baseball career lies in the hands of his attorneys and a judge. His reputation and legacy, while already tarnished, in the game of baseball lie in the hands of the federal courts.