Alex Rodriguez, baseball’s highest-paid player and one of the sport’s greatest hitters, was suspended for a record 211 games on Monday for alleged doping offences.
Another 12 players, including three All-Stars, were handed 50-game suspensions by Major League Baseball following a long investigation into links between top players and a Florida clinic accused of supplying performance enhancing drugs.
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“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 ,” Selig said.
“The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8th, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play.”
Before Monday, only one player had been suspended over the Biogenesis investigation.
Rodriguez had previously indicated he would appeal to an arbitrator, allowing him to play until the case was resolved.
Rodriguez earns around $25m a season with the Yankees and is under contract to the end of 2017.
He has more than $100m left to be paid and stands to lose about $36m in salary if his ban is upheld but would collect the remainder after completing his ban.
MLB released a statement identifying players that had accepted 50-game suspensions, which included Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Philadelphia Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, New York Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli,
New York Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, New York Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello, San Diego Padres pitching prospect Fautino De Los Santos, Houston Astros pitching prospect Sergio Escalona and New York Yankees outfield prospect Fernando Martinez were also handed the suspension.
The statement also said that the investigation found no violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Washington Nations pitcher Gio Gonzalez or Baltimore Orioles Danny Valencia.
It added that Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melkey Cabrera, Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon and Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, all of whom have already served 50-game suspensions for their connections to Biogenesis, will not be recieving additional disciplinary measures.