by CAROLINE GAVURA Section Editor
New York Yankees player, Alex Rodriguez, is suspended for the 2014 regular and postseason due to accusations of using performance enhancing drugs. The ruling was made by Fredric Horowitz, the Major League Baseball arbitrator, and will cost Rodriguez a 25 million dollar contract.
The suspension will last 162 games, which is the most severe punishment for using drugs in baseball history. Rodriguez, who is one of the best players in his generation and considered as an automatic Hall of Fame candidate, may have tainted his groundbreaking career.
The Yankees released a statement saying they “respect Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel.”
The ruling came from Rodriguez’s appeal of his suspension by MLB, which accused him of using performance enhancing drugs and being connected to the Biogenesis clinic in South Florida, which MLB accused of giving steroids to over a dozen players.
Rodriguez, one of 14 different players accused of using the drugs, was the only player to appeal his suspension, and played out the 2013 season.
“I don’t know for sure if A-Rod used these drugs or not, but if he did he should do the courageous thing and own up to it. It’s not fair to the other plays who have worked really hard without drugs to make the same plays that he does,” said junior Casey Reyes.
The latest plot twist in the case, however, is only two days after the decision was made, Rodriguez filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, hoping to get his suspension overturned.
Horowitz remains confident, saying there is “clear and convincing evidence” that Rodriguez used three different banned substances and tried to prevent MLB’s investigation of the Biogenesis clinic.
The lawsuit came quickly after Anthony Bosch, the founder of the Biogenesis clinic, appeared on “60 Minutes” and said he personally injected Rodriguez with performance enhancing drugs, among other things.
“After I watched ’60 Minutes’ I was convinced that Alex did use the drugs. He is probably worried about the impact this will have on his career so he is trying to cover it up with a law suit,” said junior Michelle Barclay.
Rodriguez’s lawyers are claiming that the MLB and the MLBPA have hindered his rights.
An MLBPA executive released a statement saying, “It is unfortunate that Alex Rodriguez has chosen to sue the Players Association. His claim is completely without merit, and we will aggressively defend ourselves and our members from these baseless charges.”
Horowitz is preparing for the case with “the testimony of Bosch, excerpts from Bosch’s personal composition notebooks, Blackberry messages exchanged between Bosch and Rodriguez,” and more.
The case will determine whether or not Rodriguez will return to play for the 2014 season, in which he will turn 40 years old. The player has broken several records during the time he was apparently using drugs, which could come into question if it is proven he actually used the drugs.
Do you think Alex Rodriguez is innocent?