A-Rod Loses His Appeal, Out For Entire 2014 MLB Season

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By: / January 11, 2014

in·vin·ci·ble (adj.): Incapable of being overcome or defeated; unconquerable.

Alex Rodriguez is learning the hard way that he is not invincible. Major League Baseball’s highest paid player lost his appeal in the Biogenesis steroids case. A-Rod, originally suspended for 211 games, will now sit out 162 matches for his use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Bad news for New York Yankees fans, there are only 162 games in a season, which means A-Rod is out for the entire 2014 MLB season. Along with the 162-game suspension, A-Rod will not be eligible for the playoffs either.

The Biogenesis baseball scandal broke last summer with 13 players being given suspensions. Most players like Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, and Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz received 50-game suspensions for their use of PEDs administered by Miami’s Biogenesis of America clinic. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and A-Rod received the harshest repercussions, with Braun getting a 65-game suspension, and A-Rod the whopping 211 for his use of testosterone and human growth hormones over the years, and his attempts to cover up the allegations. The Yankees third baseman was accused of directly violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement of the MLB, but allowed to play, however, pending his appeal.

In his own statement after the appeal’s denial, A-Rod stated he was the victim of a one-man vendetta. “The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one,” it read. “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.”

A-Rod continued to claim his innocence. “I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court.”

The MLB was singing a different tune, however. “While we believe the original 211-game suspension was appropriate,” read their statement on Saturday morning, “we respect the decision rendered by the Panel and will focus on our continuing efforts on eliminating performance-enhancing substances from our game.”

A-Rod is still planning on participating in spring training with the Yankees, according to his spokesman Ron Berkowitz. There is no word on how his $275 million contract with the Yankees through the 2017 season will be affected. Read A-Rod’s full statement on the 162-game ban below.

The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. 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.

I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. 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. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me.

I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal.