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Alex Rodriguez sues Major League Baseball and players' union

Alex Rodriguez looks on in the sixth inning

Alex Rodriguez looks on in the sixth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. (Aug. 20, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association on Monday, seeking to overturn a 162-game ban levied Saturday by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.

Rodriguez's lawyers filed the suit in federal court in Manhattan and released the 34-page decision by Horowitz, who reduced MLB's initial 211-game suspension. In the decision, Horowitz wrote there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Rodriguez violated the league's drug policy and twice tried to obstruct the investigation into Biogenesis.

The suit largely takes aim at Horowitz, saying, "He ignored the clear disciplinary action of the JDA [Joint Drug Agreement]. . . . Accordingly, the arbitration award is not legitimate as it does not draw its essence from the JDA or CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement]."

The suit, which legal experts believe is a long shot, contends Horowitz demonstrated "manifest disregard for the law," while saying MLB violated its CBA by imposing the suspension.

"We believe that the latest lawsuit is yet another one with no merit and it will ultimately be unsuccessful," MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred said in a telephone interview.

Rodriguez has a suit pending in federal court that claims baseball was on a "witch hunt" to drive him from the game. He also has a malpractice suit against Yankees team doctor Christopher Ahmad and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

The suit filed Monday says the players' union did not fairly represent the Yankees third baseman, calling its efforts "perfunctory at best" and accusing the union of "bad faith." The suit criticized Michael Weiner, the union head who died from a brain tumor in November, for saying last summer he recommended Rodriguez settle for a lesser penalty if MLB were to offer one that was acceptable.

"His claim is completely without merit, and we will aggressively defend ourselves and our members from these baseless charges," new union head Tony Clark said in a statement. "The players' association has vigorously defended Mr. Rodriguez's rights throughout the Biogenesis investigation, and indeed throughout his career. Mr. Rodriguez's allegation that the association has failed to fairly represent him is outrageous, and his gratuitous attacks on our former executive director, Michael Weiner, are inexcusable."

Rodriguez's lawyers are prepared to ask for an injunction staying the suspension if the matter is not resolved close to spring training, a person familiar with the situation said.

"He bought the Anthony Bosch story hook, line and sinker," a person close to the Rodriguez said of Horowitz.

Bosch, who ran the now-shuttered Florida anti-aging clinic at the center of MLB's investigation, testified he supplied and sometimes injected Rodriguez with banned substances.

According to Horowitz's decision, Bosch told MLB that Rodriguez summoned him to Detroit during the 2012 playoffs complaining of "poor on-field performance."

Bosch said he delivered and often administered banned substances to Rodriguez, according to Horowitz's decision, which lists testosterone, insulinlike growth factor 1 and human growth hormone. Joe Tacopina, Rodriguez's lawyer, countered by saying Rodriguez passed 12 drug tests.

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