NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A father who worked with Alex Rodriguez to spread the message about the dangers of steroids speaks out about the slugger’s suspension.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, A-Rod lectured about the evils of steroids when he went on a contrition tour after his first go around with drugs.

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“I spent quite a bit of time working with Alex, watching him do some really good work with kids,” said Don Hooton.

He started the Taylor Hooton Foundation in memory of his 17-year-old son who killed himself after using steroids.

“Alex was using the whole time and that’s very disappointing,” Hooton told Haskell. “I think Alex was using us to help rehabilitate his reputation and I’ve got to be honest and say in reverse, we were using him.”

Hooton said he hopes A-Rod’s punishment sends a message.

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“In the end, the drugs aren’t going to get you where you think they’re going to take you,” said Hooton.

Over the weekend, an independent arbitrator reduced A-Rod’s suspension from 211 games to 162 games, a full season.

The original ban was handed down Aug. 5 by Major League Baseball under the joint drug agreement. The ruling also includes the entire 2014 postseason.

Rodriguez, who has denied using PEDs since his time with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03,vowed to challenge Horowitz’s decision in court.

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