Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez drops lawsuit, accepts season-long suspension

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez drops lawsuit, accepts season-long suspension


Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez drops lawsuit, accepts season-long suspension


Alex Rodriguez is dropping his lawsuit and accepting his punishment.

On Friday — exactly one week before the Yankees open spring training — Rodriguez officially dismissed his lawsuit against Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

That lawsuit was Rodriguez’s last chance to fight his season-long suspension for his connection to performance-enhancing drugs and the Biogenesis clinic. In dropping the lawsuit, Rodriguez is effectively agreeing to sit out the year.

“We have been informed that Alex Rodriguez has reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter,” Major League Baseball said in a statement. “We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow Major League Players. We share that desire.”

The players association, which Rodriguez accused of willfully neglecting its responsibility to defend him against the league’s accusations and investigation, also issued a statement of support.

“Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit,” the MLBPA said. “His decision to move forward is in everyone’s best interest.”

Rodriguez’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, confirmed to ESPN New York that Rodriguez would not be attending spring training. Until Friday’s action, Rodriguez had vowed to be in camp to prepare for the season, just in case his suspension was overturned in federal court. However, that bit of defiance had been met with some apprehension. As recently as Tuesday, former Yankees pitcher David Cone said he was hoping Rodriguez would reconsider so that the Yankees could avoid the distraction of having him in the clubhouse.

With the lawsuit dropped and Rodriguez staying home, there at last seems to be some closure to the Biogenesis saga, which has lasted more than a year.

It was in January 2013 that news broke of the Biogensis clinic’s ties to athletes and performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez was immediately linked to the clinic, and on Aug. 5, he was suspended 211 games because of that connection. Rodriguez appealed, and an arbitrator trimmed the suspension to include all of the 2014 season (162 games plus the playoffs). Rodriguez’s lawsuit — claiming inappropriate action by the league and damaging inaction by the players association — was an attempt to have a judge overrule the arbitrator’s decision.

Rodriguez has claimed all along that he’s innocent and should not be suspended for one inning, much less one season.


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