Updated: Tuesday, 14 January 2014 08:07 | By Agence France-Presse

Rodriguez files lawsuit over 2014 season ban

Embattled New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball and its players union Monday in a bid to overturn a 162-game doping ban.


Rodriguez files lawsuit over 2014 season ban

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees works out on the field before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 27, 2013 in Houston, Texas

The 42-page filing in US District Court in Manhattan claims arbitrator Fredric Horowitz showed partiality in only trimming what had been a 211-game ban to 162 games plus playoffs, suspending the sport's highest-paid player for the entire 2014 season.

The ban is still the longest doping-related suspension in major league history, longer than the 12 players who admitted wrongdoing in the Biogenesis doping scandal because Major League Baseball said Rodriguez took steps to impede the investigation into his use of banned substances.

Rodriguez, a three-time American League Most Valuable Player, also says the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) did not fairly represent him in the arbitration process, which both the union and the league say is the final word on the matter based on the union agreement with club owners.

The lawsuit claimed it was harmed by "harassing and unethical investigatory conduct perpetrated by MLB" during its investigation and the union did not back Rodriguez.

"In the face of such overwhelming wrongdoing by MLB and in response to Mr. Rodriguez's pleas, MLBPA took no action to stem MLB's rampant misconduct with respect to the Biogenesis suit," the lawsuit said.

In November, Rodriguez stormed out of an arbitration session, unhappy that Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig did not have to appear to be cross-examined over the league's investigation findings and procedures, including evidence and testimony from Biogenesis director Anthony Bosch, whose credibility Rodriguez has challenged and who was also unavailable for cross-examination by Rodriguez's attorneys in the hearing, a move allowed by Horowitz over Rodriguez's objections.

Rodriguez's lawsuit claims Selig violated terms of the union deal in his pursuit of Rodriguez, which "A-Rod" says was aimed to bring him down to boost the sport's anti-doping reputation.

The lawsuit describes Horowitz as "somewhere between a casual fan and a junkie when it comes to baseball" and says the arbitrator had "personal incentives to maintain his position as the neutral arbitrator for all MLB/MLBPA arbitrations by doing MLB's bidding."

The complaint also noted Major League Baseball fired arbitrator Shyam Das, Horowitz's predecessor, after he overturned a 50-game suspension for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun in 2012.

"Das' firing sent a clear signal to future arbitrators that job security is contingent upon favorable rulings for MLB," the lawsuit said.

Rodriguez's lawyers say they were prevented for examining texts purportedly between Rodriguez and Bosch and accused Horowitz of leaking confidential information about the case to media outlets.

Horowitz, in his ruling, said MLB produced "clear and convincing evidence" that Rodriguez took steroids and human growth hormones and there was "just cause" to support the length of the suspension.

"While this length of suspension may be unprecedented for a MLB player, so is the misconduct he committed," Horowitz wrote.

The filing came less than 24 hours after the chief witness against Rodriguez, Bosch, was interviewed by CBS News for the program "60 Minutes."

Bosch said Rodriguez used multiple banned performance-enhancing drugs that Bosch provided him.

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