NEW YORK: Alex Rodriguez, the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball, was given a record 162-game doping suspension by an arbitrator on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), banning him for the entire 2014 season and playoffs.
The New York Yankees third baseman, a three-time American League Most Valuable Player who helped the Yankees win the 2009 World Series, vowed to appeal the ban to a US federal court.
Independent arbitrator Fredric Horowitz upheld most of the 211-game ban imposed upon Rodriguez last August for his role in the Biogenesis doping scandal, which led to bans for 12 other players for taking drugs from the Miami clinic.
Rodriguez will fight—despite the players’ union and Major League Baseball saying the arbitration decision was the final word on the matter under the terms of their labor deal.
Rodriguez played the final weeks of the 2013 season while appealing the ban, even setting a major league record for career grand slams with his 24th bases-loaded homer last September.