Alex Rodriguez has filed a federal lawsuit against Major League Baseball, the Office of the Commissioner and the MLB Players’ Association seeking to overturn his 162-game suspension.
The lawsuit, filed Monday afternoon in Manhattan, will also make public arbitrator Fredric Horowitz’s decision to reduce Rodriguez’s suspension from 211 games. Horowitz found that there was “clear and convincing evidence” Rodriguez used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct the sport’s drug investigation.
“While this length of suspension may be unprecedented for a MLB Player, so is the misconduct he committed,” Horowitz wrote.
The case was assigned to Judge Edgardo Ramos.
Earlier Monday, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III denied a request by Rodriguez’s legal team to seal portions of the arbitrator’s decision. An MLB lawyer said the league did not seek to seal any portion of the decision, according to The Associated Press.
“Given the intense public interest in this matter and Commissioner Selig’s disclosures last night on ‘60 Minutes,’ it’s difficult to imagine any portion of this proceeding should be filed under seal,” Pauley said.
“In an abundance of caution, so as to not run afoul of the agreements, we brought this application,” said Jordan Siev, a ReedSmith lawyer representing Rodriguez. “We’re perfectly content to unredact and file the entire complaint.”
Pauley said there was a presumption in federal courts that the public should have access to documents. He said the presumption of access could be overridden if there was evidence the courts were being used improperly to force otherwise confidential information to be made public.
“There’s no evidence here of any bad faith,” he said.
Howard Ganz of Proskauer Rose, representing MLB, said the league was not seeking to seal any parts of the written decision, which has not been made public.