A-Rod and 12 others recieve bans for ties to Biogenesis scandal
Major League Baseball suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez through the 2014 season Monday, though he will remain eligible to play while he appeals his ban.
Rodriguez's 211-game suspension, effective Aug. 8, was handed down Monday as a result of a yearlong investigation for ties to Biogenesis of America, a Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs. The suspension is the longest non-lifetime ban in MLB history.
"I am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process," Rodriguez said in a released statement Monday. "I am eager to get back on the field and be with my teammates in Chicago tonight. I want to thank my family, friends and fans who have stood by my side through all this."
David Cornwell, Rodriguez's attorney, added: "It is regrettable that the Commissioner's office has taken this unprecedented action. Major League Baseball has gone well beyond the authority granted to its Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement. Consequently, we will appeal the discipline and pursue all legal remedies available to Alex."
The MLB issued 50-game suspensions to a dozen other players for ties to Biogenesis, including Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta. The league has sanctioned a total of 18 players, The Washington Times reported.
Although Rodriguez, 38, has never failed a drug test under the MLB's Joint Drug Agreement, he has admitted to PED use from 2001 to 2003 while playing for the Rangers. While first-time offenders receive 50-game suspensions, the MLB said it suspended Rodriguez for use and possession of PEDs over multiple years, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"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," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a released statement.
Rodriguez, the highest paid player in baseball, remains under contract with the Yankees through 2017 and is promised an additional $114 million, according to the New York Business Journal.
If the suspension is upheld, The Yankees will owe Rodriguez the more than $60 million balance left over between the 2015 and 2017 seasons.
Rodriguez played for the first time this season Monday night against the Chicago White Sox. He had been rehabilitating at the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, since undergoing major hip surgery in January.