Alex Rodriguez files lawsuit against MLB, players’ union

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been issued a season-long suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.
(Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was handed a season-long suspension by an arbitrator Saturday for allegedly taking performance-enhancing drugs, is suing Major League Baseball and the players’ union in hopes of having the suspension overturned.

The suit, filed Monday in federal court in New York, asks for the court to throw out arbitrator Fredric Horowitz’s decision to suspend Rodriguez for the 2014 season and postseason. The lawsuit claims that the players’ union “completely abdicated its responsibility to Mr. Rodriguez to protect his rights,” allowing Major League Baseball to take advantage of his confidentiality rights. It alleges the union failed to protect Rodriguez and that MLB violated agreements it had with the union.

Rodriguez and his legal team also made Horowitz’s 33-page decision public. The decision to shorten Rodriguez’s suspension to 162 games from its original 211 games was made by a three-member panel chaired by Horowitz and representatives from MLB and the players’ union.

In his decision, Horowitz wrote there is “clear and convincing evidence” that Rodriguez used three banned substances and that he tried to interfere with MLB’s drug investigation on two occasions.


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

Commissioner Bud Selig originally suspended Rodriguez in August after an MLB investigation of a Florida-based anti-aging clinic allegedly uncovered evidence of banned drug use by Rodriguez and other baseball players. The investigation was sparked by the publication of documents by the Miami New Times.

Rodriguez, who admitted taking steroids earlier in his career while playing for the Texas Rangers, denies having used them since. Anthony Bosch, who operated the Biogenesis of America clinic in Florida, says he supplied Rodriguez with substances banned by MLB.

Horowitz concluded in his decision that Rodriguez used testosterone, human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 in violation of baseball’s drug policy.

“A suspension of one season satisfies the structures of just cause as commensurate with the severity of his violations,” Horowitz wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this post.