On Monday, Major League Baseball officially announced that Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for 211 games, effective August 8, without pay until the the start of the 2015 season. He is suspended for 49 games this season and all 162 games in the 2014 season.
Major League Baseball announced that Rodriguez was being suspended for “violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement.” He will, though, be able to play while he appeals. According to MLB, “under the terms of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Rodriguez’s suspension will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez files a grievance challenging his discipline.”
Last week, Rodriguez’s lawyers vowed to fight the charges to the end, and the embattled slugger is expected to play against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
“Rodriguez’s discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years,” MLB announced. “Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.”
Rodriguez–and 12 others who accepted 50-game suspensions on Monday in addition to Ryan Braun, who accepted his suspension for the remainder of the season–was immediately under investigation after the Miami New Times broke the story about the Biogenesis Clinic. That clinic supplied baseball players with performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez was the only player who did not make a deal with Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez reportedly recruited athletes for the clinic, bought documents from the clinic’s founder, obstructed baseball’s investigation and allegedly intimidated witnesses.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was reportedly outraged over the weekend when Rodriguez accused the New York Yankees and MLB of colluding to either void his contract or suspend him for life. The Yankees reportedly do not want to pay the remaining portion of Rodriguez’s back-loaded contract, which is nearly $100 million in addition to other incentives. For instance, Rodriguez is also due for $6 million bonus if he ties Willie Mays on the home run list. Rodriguez is 13 home runs shy of Mays’s 660 career home runs.