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Tuesday
Jan142014

Alex Rodriguez Challenges Suspension, Files Suit in Federal Court

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez Monday filed suit against Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Commissioner Bud Selig, challenging what he called his “wholly unjustified suspension” for doping.  He complains the arbitrator Fredric Horowitz “exhibited a manifest disregard for the law,” “acted with evident partiality” and “refused to entertain evidence that was pertinent and material to the outcome.”

The third baseman's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told ABC News' Ryan Smith Sunday that the suit would be filed in federal court Monday, challenging the 162-game suspension Rodriguez faces for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy.

Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season -- including any potential playoff games -- by Horowitz, who reduced the Yankee's ban from 211 games to 162 for his involvement in MLB's Biogenesis scandal.

MLB had issued its ban in August, but Rodriguez appealed and continued playing the rest of the season while the arbitrator considered the case.

The arbitrator's decision means the Yankees will not have to pay roughly $24 million in luxury tax they would have had to pay for Rodriguez's salary this year, but the team will still have to pay him about $61 million for 2015-17.

Twelve other players were suspended as a result of the investigation.  Other than Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun received the longest suspension -- 65 games.
 
Tacopina's statement Sunday that Rodriguez would take the arbitrator's ruling to court came as CBS' 60 Minutes aired an interview with Anthony Bosch, the man whose clinic allegedly provided performance enchancing drugs to the star slugger.

In the interview, Bosch claimed that Rodriguez used "testosterone, insulin growth factor-1, human growth hormone, and some different forms of peptides."

He also said that he had sometimes injected Rodriguez himself.

"Alex is scared of needles, so at times he would ask me to inject," Bosch said.

Tacopina chastised MLB for participating in the 60 Minutes segment -- even though he also was interviewed.

"Tonight's further expansion of Bud Selig and Rob Manfred's quest to destroy Alex Rodriguez goes beyond comprehension," he said in a statement, referring to MLB Commissioner Selig and MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred.

"In a clearly pre-orchestrated display, Selig and Manfred, having known for some time what the result of the arbitration would be (in light of Manfred sitting on the arbitration panel) put forth an unparalleled display of hubris and vindictiveness -- complete with Manfred appearing in tandem with the drug dealer Tony Bosch, both in full makeup, celebrating the joint victory of Bosch's lies and Manfred's intimidation and payments for testimony," Tacopina added.

Rodriguez has continued to assert his innocence.

"I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged," he said in a statement released Saturday after the arbitrator's ruling was announced.

Rodriguez plans on attending spring training and will be allowed to participate due to a loophole in the suspension, his spokesman Ron Berkowitz, said.  He said he should prepare for the season because he will be able to play if the suspension is overturned.

"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," Rodriguez said Saturday.

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