A-Rod Suspended Through 2014, Union Supporting His Appeal - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

A-Rod Suspended Through 2014, Union Supporting His Appeal

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Commissioner Bud Selig says Alex Rodriguez attempted to cover-up his violations and engaged "in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate" his investigation. Commissioner Bud Selig says Alex Rodriguez attempted to cover-up his violations and engaged "in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate" his investigation.

After plenty of speculation, Major League Baseball announced Monday afternoon that Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez has been suspended through 2014 for drug policy and other league contract violations.

But the World Series champion, three-time league MVP and 14-time All-Star is expected to be in uniform and playing for New York on Monday night as the Yanks open a series against the Chicago White Sox.

And "A-Rod" will have the players' union in his corner as he fights the suspension.

He officially appealed the suspension later on Monday afternoon, and the union says a final decision may not come down until November or December.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced the "discipline" in a news release Monday afternoon, stating that it's based on Rodriguez's "use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years."

"Rodriguez's discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation," Selig stated.

The suspension takes effect Aug. 8, the commissioner says, and it will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez files a grievance challenging his discipline.

The penalty adds up to a total of 211 regular season games, plus any potential Yankees playoff games, Fox Sports reports.

Twelve other players accepted 50-game suspensions for drug policy violations on Monday, including Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo. Three others, it was noted, already served suspensions, while two others who had been under suspicion were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Selig followed the suspension announcements with a general statement on the Biogenesis investigation, stating that 16,000 total urine and blood tests were conducted on players worldwide under MLB Drug Programs in 2012.

"As a social institution with enormous social responsibilities, Baseball must do everything it can to maintain integrity, fairness and a level playing field," Selig declared. "We are committed to working together with players to reiterate that performance-enhancing drugs will not be tolerated in our game."

The Major League Players Association said the suspensions were arrived at after tense negotiations involving the parties, players and their reps.

But the union says it agrees with Rodriguez's decision to fight his suspension: "We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. Mr. Rodriguez knows that the Union, consistent with its history, will defend his rights vigorously."

MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner went on to say in his statement:

"The Union's members have made it clear that they want a clean game. They support efforts to discipline players, and harshly, to help ensure an even playing field for all. The players support the Union's efforts to uphold the JDA while at the same time guaranteeing that players receive the due process rights and confidentiality protections granted under the agreement."

And Weiner lamented the way that private and privileged information was shared publicly, calling for revisions to confidentiality provisions of the drug policy when it comes up for an annual review.

The Yankees, for their part, issued a statement denying that they assisted MLB in the investigation, tried to duck A-Rod's contract or failed to provide him with appropriate care, according to Fox Sports senior baseball writer Ken Rosenthal.

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