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Alex Rodriguez will not play a single game of baseball in 2014.
Per the New York Times, Major League Baseball's chief arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ruled on Saturday, Jan. 11, that the Yankees third basemen, and the sport's highest-paid player, will be suspended for the entire season and postseason. This suspension is the longest in baseball history for doping and will also cost Rodriguez $25 million, his salary for the season.
Major League Baseball originally slapped the 38-year-old baseball star with a 211-game ban for his alleged ties to Biogenesis, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Florida which allegedly supplied banned performance-boosting substances to players.
The ban would have been effective on Aug. 8, 2013 and last through the end of 2014's season, however A-Rod appealed the ban and played through the end of the season.
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"The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one," the athlete wrote on his Facebook page shortly after the ruling was decided. "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," he added.
He continued: "I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension."
A-Rod thanked his family, friends, fans and fellow players for their support. He vowed to continue to work hard" to help the Yankees "achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship."
MLB issued a statement, stating "For more than five decades, the arbitration process under the Basic Agreement has been a fair and effective mechanism for resolving disputes and protecting player rights. While we believe the original 211-game suspension was appropriate, we respect the decision rendered by the Panel and will focus on our continuing efforts on eliminating performance-enhancing substances from our game."