When Alex Rodriguez is finally suspended by Major League Baseball it may not be for violating the sport’s drug policy according to a report in the New York Daily News.
According to the report, Bud Selig will suspend A-Rod under the commissioner’s power “to preserve the integrity of the game.” This suspension would be for interfering with MLB’s investigation into the Biogenesis Clinic and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by A-Rod and others.
If this is indeed how MLB will suspend A-Rod, it will add two new wrinkles to the case that could keep A-Rod from ever playing Major League Baseball again.
1) A-Rod would have to start serving his suspension immediately. Under MLB’s drug policy, a player can continue to play until the appeal is ruled on by an arbitrator. But a suspension under Article XI, Section A1b can keep a player from playing even before the appeal.
2) If A-Rod appeals the suspension, the appeal will be heard by Selig and not an arbitrator. Under the drug policy, a player’s appeal is heard by an arbitrator, and with Rodriguez facing an unprecedented ban, MLB could have lost the appeal for trying to go beyond the standard 50-game suspension for a first-time offender. But with Selig hearing any appeal, he can decide if he wants to let A-Rod back in the game.
According to the report, Major League Baseball believes Rodriguez tried to purchase evidence to keep it out of the hands of investigators and that he tried to intimidate witnesses.
Once MLB suspends A-Rod for those actions, it will later add on a suspension for violating the drug policy.
It is a clever move and shows that Selig is determined to keep A-Rod from ever playing baseball again. However, it is also a move that could ultimately push the sport into the courtroom. But by the time any court cases are resolved, it is doubtful A-Rod could return and Selig will win anyway.
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