Alex Rodriguez has filed suit against Major League Baseball, claiming league officials trampled on their own rules and paid off witnesses in an effort to "destroy the reputation and career" of Rodriguez so that Commissioner Bud Selig could "attempt to secure his legacy as the 'savior' of America's pastime."
The suit, filed late Thursday in New York State Supreme Court and released Friday, names Selig and the league as defendants.
The suit comes at the end of the first week of an arbitration hearing in which Rodriguez is appealing a 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy.
In a statement Friday, the league dismissed the suit as "a desperate attempt to circumvent" the MLB drug policy and labor agreements. The league said it "vehemently" denies the allegations in the Rodriguez suit and said they distract from "the real issue": Did Rodriguez violate baseball's drug policy on multiple occasions and interfere with the league's investigation?
The suit does not address whether Rodriguez used performance-enhancing substances.
In the suit, Rodriguez claims that MLB is paying $5 million to its star witness, Tony Bosch, who ran the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic that gave its name to baseball's most recent drug scandal. Bosch has testified in this week's arbitration hearing.
The suit also claims an MLB investigator paid $150,000 for "stolen documents" and "engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a [Biogenesis] witness."
Although Rodriguez does not ask for a specific amount in damages, the suit claims that Selig and MLB have improperly interfered with Rodriguez's contractual relationship with the Yankees, putting tens of millions in salary and bonuses at risk. Also, according to the suit, Nike and Toyota have cut off negotiations for potential sponsorship deals with Rodriguez.