NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Alex Rodriguez was back at Major League Baseball’s office Monday for the resumption of the grievance hearing to overturn his 211-game suspension.
Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz already had presided over eight days of sessions, from Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and from Oct. 15-18. Rodriguez’s legal team was set to call witnesses when the hearing resumed.
“I’m excited to get back in there,” Rodriguez said.
It was unclear whether the New York Yankees third baseman would testify. He had been scheduled for an investigatory interview with MLB on Friday, but the session was canceled when Rodriguez’s side said he was ill with flu-like systems and could not travel from California.
MLB has been expected to assert that Rodriguez should not be allowed to testify at his grievance if he first refused to answer MLB’s questions at the investigatory interview.
Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games by MLB on Aug. 5 for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract, and the players’ association filed the grievance to overturn the penalty.
The three-time AL MVP said four years ago he used performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03, but he has denied using them since. At the time of his suspension, MLB said the penalty was for “use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years” and for “engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the office of the commissioner’s investigation.”
The 38-year-old Rodriguez, a three-time AL MVP, missed most of last season following his second major hip operation. He returned the day his suspension was announced and hit .244 — his lowest average since 1995 — with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 156 at-bats.
A-Rod has also filed a lawsuit accusing MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig of trying to polish their images and destroy his career and reputation, his lawyer said.
MLB attorney Joseph Baumgarten has called the lawsuit “inappropriate.”
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