Yankees president Randy Levine testifies in A-Rod appeal case, says team didn't conspire against him

Randy Levine speaks during an exhibition ceremony for Randy Levine speaks during an exhibition ceremony for the Yankees' 2009 World Series trophy, far right, and the Yomiuri Giants' 2009 Japan Series trophy, unseen, at MLB cafe TOKYO in Japan. Photo Credit: AP, 2010

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Yankees president Randy Levine testified Tuesday in Alex Rodriguez's appeal of his 211-game suspension.

Rodriguez's lawyers called Levine to question him about the possible role he or the Yankees played in assisting Major League Baseball in its Biogenesis investigation linking Rodriguez to performance-enhancing drugs.

MLB and the Yankees have denied any such arrangement. Levine left without comment.

A person familiar with Levine's testimony said he was questioned by Rodriguez's lawyers for a little more than 10 minutes.

The source said Levine was asked if he would get an 8-percent commission if the Yankees do not have to pay the remainder of A-Rod's contract, which is $89 million. Levine answered no, the source said.

Levine also was asked if he would get a bonus or commission if the Yankees keep their payroll under $189 million for the 2014 season. The source said Levine again answered no.

Rodriguez's lawyers then asked Levine if he ever told Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed offseason hip surgery on Rodriguez in 2013, that he "wanted him off the field permanently." The source said Levine responded no.

Levine also answered no when asked if he ever said derogatory things about Rodriguez, according to the source.

When asked when he learned of the Biogenesis issue naming Rodriguez as receiving PEDs from Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now-closed clinic, the source said Levine responded that he learned of the story in the Miami New Times.

Lawyers asked Levine if he ever spoke to Rodriguez about rumors of him using steroids. The source said Levine answered yes, saying there were rumors all the time, but did not say it in connection with Biogenesis.

Levine answered no when asked if he ever spoke to MLB commissioner Bud Selig or anyone in his office about imposing high penalties to get the Yankees out of Rodriguez's contract, the source said.

Levine was also questioned about whether he or the Yankees hired investigators from Cleveland to do an investigation on Rodriguez in connection with Biogenesis. The source said Levine answered no. Levine also said he did not hire investigators to talk with Yuri Sucart, Rodriguez's cousin, according to the source.

When asked whether he and the Yankees want to get out of Rodriguez's contract, the source said Levine answered no.

Notes & quotes:A federal court judge ruled in favor of MLB's motion compelling Michael Sitrick, owner of a public relations firm formerly employed by A-Rod, to testify about the alleged sale of records implicating other players of receiving PEDs. The ruling potentially clears the way for Sitrick to be questioned in the arbitration hearing . . . The Florida Department of Health closed its investigation of the anti-aging clinic that sparked MLB's probe of A-Rod, Ryan Braun and others. Nathan Dunn, the department spokesman, said that Bosch paid a $3,000 fine and signed a cease-and-desist order in July. With AP

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