Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - This Oct. 1, 2013 file photo shows New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez arrivng at the offices of Major League Baseball in New York. Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and its players' union Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 seeking to overturn a season-long suspension imposed by an arbitrator who ruled there was "clear and convincing evidence" he used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct the sport's drug investigation. (AP Photo/David Karp, file)
A-Rod sues MLB, union over doping suspension
First Published Jan 13 2014 11:35 pm • Last Updated Mar 24 2014 11:33 pm

New York • Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and its players’ union Monday, seeking to overturn a season-long suspension imposed by an arbitrator who ruled there was "clear and convincing evidence" the New York Yankees star used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct the sport’s drug investigation.

As part of the complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, Rodriguez’s lawyers made public Saturday’s 34-page decision by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who shortened a penalty originally set at 211 games last August by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig for violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Horowitz, a 65-year-old making his second decision as baseball’s independent arbitrator, trimmed the discipline to 162 games, plus all postseason games in 2014.

"While this length of suspension may be unprecedented for a MLB player, so is the misconduct he committed," Horowitz wrote.

Horowitz concluded Rodriguez used testosterone, human growth hormone and Insulin-like growth factor-1 in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in violation of baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. He relied on evidence provided by the founder of the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic in Florida.

"Direct evidence of those violations was supplied by the testimony of Anthony Bosch and corroborated with excerpts from Bosch’s personal composition notebooks, BBMs [Blackberry messages] exchanged between Bosch and Rodriguez, and reasonable inferences drawn from the entire record of evidence," Horowitz wrote. "The testimony was direct, credible and squarely corroborated by excerpts from several of the hundreds of pages of his composition notebooks."

While the original notebooks were stolen, Horowitz allowed copies into evidence.

Rodriguez’s suit accused the Major League Baseball Players Association of "bad faith," said its representation during the hearing was "perfunctory at best" and accused it of failing to attack a civil suit filed by MLB in Florida state court as part of its Biogenesis investigation.

His lawyers criticized Michael Weiner, the union head who died from a brain tumor in November, for saying last summer he recommended Rodriguez settle for a lesser penalty if MLB were to offer an acceptable length.

"His claim is completely without merit, and we will aggressively defend ourselves and our members from these baseless charges," new union head Tony Clark said in a statement. "The players’ association has vigorously defended Mr. Rodriguez’s rights throughout the Biogenesis investigation, and indeed throughout his career. Mr. Rodriguez’s allegation that the association has failed to fairly represent him is outrageous, and his gratuitous attacks on our former executive director, Michael Weiner, are inexcusable."


story continues below
story continues below

The suit also claimed MLB engaged in "ethically challenged behavior" and was the source of media leaks in violation of baseball’s confidentiality rules.

Rodriguez’s lawyers said Horowitz acted "with evident partiality" and "refused to entertain evidence that was pertinent and material." They faulted Horowitz for denying Rodriguez’s request to have a different arbitrator hear the case, for not ordering Selig to testify and for allowing Bosch to claim Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions during cross-examination.

They also said Horowitz let the league introduce "unauthenticated documents and hearsay evidence ... obtained by theft, coercion or payment," wouldn’t allow them to examine Blackberry devices introduced by MLB and was fearful he would be fired if he didn’t side with management.

Rodriguez asked the court to throw out Horowitz’s decision and find the league violated its agreements with the union and that the union breached its duty to represent him. The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.

Supreme Court decisions have set narrow grounds for judges to vacate arbitration decisions, instances such as corruption or not following the rules agreed to by the parties.

The three-time AL MVP admitted five years ago he used performance-enhancing substances while with Texas from 2001-03, but the third baseman has denied using them since. MLB’s Biogenesis investigation was sparked after the publication of documents last January by Miami New Times.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.