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Throw out suspension, Rodriguez asks judge
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 15 - 01 - 2014

NEW YORK — Embattled New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez asked a federal judge Monday to throw out an arbitrator's decision suspending him for the 2014 baseball season for doping, escalating a battle with Major League Baseball that shows no signs of abating.
In the petition, filed by Rodriguez's attorneys at the US District Court in Manhattan, they said arbitrator Fredric Horowitz exhibited “blatant partiality” toward MLB.
Rodriguez also said in his petition that the league's initial 211-game ban was impermissibly long under the terms of baseball's labor agreement and he accused MLB officials of leaking details about the case to the media.
Monday's lawsuit included a copy of Horowitz's decision, which had not previously been made public, giving the first glimpse of a proceeding that had taken place behind closed doors.
Horowitz ruled Saturday that Rodriguez, baseball's highest paid player, would miss all 162 regular season games this year as well as the playoffs.
The ban, which was reduced from 211 games, is the longest ever in baseball for the use of performance-enhancing drugs and will cost Rodriguez $25 million in salary.
The 38-year-old third baseman, popularly known as A-Rod, is currently fifth on baseball's all-time home run list with 654 and was once widely expected to challenge Barry Bonds' record of 762 home runs. Bonds was also repeatedly linked to doping.
Monday's complaint may represent a long-shot bid, given that MLB and the players' union agreed on the arbitration process. Federal judges typically afford independent arbitrators great deference under such circumstances.
The filing was expected after A-Rod vowed to take his fight to federal court, claiming the arbitration process was based on unreliable evidence and inconsistent with baseball's collective bargaining agreement. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig handed down the suspension last August after Rodriguez was implicated in an investigation into a now-defunct Miami anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis, that is accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. — Reuters


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