A major league baseball arbitrator has reduced the suspension of New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez to 162 games resulting in him missing the 2014 baseball season. The suspension will cost him an estimated $25 million in earnings.
The three-time American League MVP was originally given a 211 game suspension in August last year, for his alleged involvement with a Florida clinic implicated in distributing banned steroids. An investigation revealed that over a dozen players had been receiving banned substances from the Biogenesis clinic. All the other players implicated accepted their suspension except for Rodriguez.
Rodriguez appealed the 211 game suspension labeling it as excessive and went before MLB arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. The hearing took place from September through November.
The 38-year-old third baseman will be allowed under MLB rules to participate in spring training and exhibition games but not in official season play. Rodriguez would also be excluded from any postseason play should the Yankee’s get that far.
Rodriguez has always maintained that he has never used steroids or any other performance enhancing drugs. He stated “the deck has been stacked against me from day one.” His last option for full reinstatement rests with the federal courts, should he decide to appeal the arbitrator’s decision.
The original 211 game suspension was one of the longest handed out by the MLB.