Yankees' Rodriguez drops lawsuits against MLB -court docs

by Reuters
Friday, 7 February 2014 22:17 GMT

(Adds statement from players' union, background)

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK, Feb 7 (Reuters) - New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez on Friday abandoned a legal challenge to his record suspension for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs, according to court filings.

In documents filed in Manhattan federal court, Rodriguez's lawyers informed the court that he had dropped two lawsuits against Major League Baseball (MLB), one challenging an arbitrator's decision to suspend him for 2014 and one accusing baseball investigators of unethical behavior.

The papers did not offer an explanation.

The filings likely mean that the Yankees third baseman will sit out the entire 2014 season. Rodriguez's lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The players' union, which Rodriguez also had targeted in court for failing to provide him adequate representation, issued a statement praising Rodriguez for doing "the right thing."

In one lawsuit, Rodriguez claimed that arbitrator Frederic Horowitz showed "blatant partiality" toward MLB when he suspended Rodriguez last month for 162 games, or the entire 2014 season, costing him $25 million in salary.

That suspension, the longest ban related to alleged doping in baseball history, was reduced from the 211 games the league had originally handed down.

MLB had accused Rodriguez of obtaining testosterone, insulin growth factor and human growth hormone from 2010 to 2012 from Anthony Bosch, the owner of a now-defunct Miami anti-aging clinic called Biogenesis. Rodriguez had filed a separate lawsuit last year accusing MLB investigators of intimidating witnesses and buying evidence.

A league statement said it had been informed that Rodriguez had "reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter."

Thirteen other players were suspended for their alleged ties to Biogenesis, with 12 agreeing to 50-game suspensions, and Milwaukee Brewers' slugger Ryan Braun, a former National League most valuable player, accepting a 65-game ban.

The 38-year-old Yankee, known as A-Rod, is fifth on baseball's all-time home run list with 654 and was once expected to challenge Barry Bonds' record of 762. Bonds has also repeatedly been linked to doping. (Additional reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by James Dalgleish and Amanda Kwan)

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