Alex Rodriguez plans on taking the fight to appeal his 162-game suspension all the way to the top.
After arbitrator Frederic Horowitz reduced the New York Yankees slugger’s original 211-game suspension to 162 games, Rodriguez announced that he still plans to appeal in federal court. Rodriguez was one of a number of players suspended for his connection to Biogenesis, a South Florida-provider of performance-enhancing drugs.
In a statement released after the ruling Alex Rodriguez called the suspension “inconsistent” and said it was based on “unreliable testimony.”
“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one,” Rodriguez said in the statement. “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.
“This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.”
While MLB has defended its ruling, legal experts say the appeal is unlikely to succeed. Former New York Mets manager Jim Duquette noted that an appeal would violate the Basic Agreement.
“It doesn’t preclude him from challenging the decision in front of a judge, but is what the judge is going to use in rendering his decision, making it very, very unlikely that the judge would overturn the ruling,” Duquette said.
If his federal appeal fails, Alex Rodriguez stands to lose just over $22 million of the $25 million he would be owed next season.