Jan 11 (The Sports Xchange) - New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz on Saturday, stemming from the Biogenesis scandal.
The suspension also includes all potential playoff games for the season.
Horowitz's ruling upholds most of Major League Baseball's original ban of 211 games. The arbitrator's decision comes after Rodriguez appealed the suspension and played the final two months of the 2013 season.
Rodriguez was among 13 players suspended after MLB investigated Biogenesis, the former South Florida anti-aging clinic that was linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Ryan Braun received the second-longest ban of 65 games, which he served. The other players were banned 50 games.
Rodriguez announced on his Facebook page that he will contest Saturday's decision in federal court.
"The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one," Rodriguez said in the statement. "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."
Rodriguez repeated his claim that he has not taken any performance enhancing drugs while playing for the Yankees since 2009.
The team released a brief statement that read: "The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel."
MLB has not commented.
- - -
Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez had an emergency appendectomy Friday night and is recovering in a Denver hospital.
The 28-year-old went to the hospital after experiencing intense stomach pain. Gonzalez made the announcement on Twitter and the team later confirmed the news.
Position players report to spring training in six weeks. Gonzalez is moving from left field to center field this season after the Rockies traded Dexter Fowler to the Houston Astros in December.
Gonzalez had 26 home runs and 70 RBIs in 110 games last season, and won a Gold Glove. He was limited by a finger injury the second half of the season.
(Editing by Gene Cherry)