Alex Rodriguez told Major League Baseball on Friday that he planned to drop all of the litigation related to his recent doping suspension, according to a statement from baseball that was confirmed by one of his lawyers.
The move effectively ends his campaign to fight his unprecedented ban for using performance-enhancing drugs and means that Rodriguez, the Yankees’ third baseman, will be sidelined for the entire 2014 season plus the playoffs.
Rodriguez, 38, considered one of the best players of his generation, sued MLB and the players union after an independent arbitrator last month upheld most of the suspension stemming from his role in the Biogenesis doping scandal. Earlier, in a separate proceeding, he sued MLB and its commissioner, Bud Selig, in federal court, claiming they had engaged in a “witch hunt” during the investigation of the clinic.
But a few weeks ago, Rodriguez signaled while speaking with reporters in Mexico City that he might be moving toward giving up his legal battle.
Both MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association applauded Rodriguez’s decision.
“We believe that 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,” the league said in a statement. “We share that desire.”
Federal court filings confirm that Rodriguez voluntarily asked that the case be dismissed.
The union, in a statement, said: “Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit. His decision to move forward is in everyone’s best interest.”
Ron Berkowitz, Rodriguez’s spokesman, said, “We stick by the statements issued by MLB and MLBPA and have no further comment.”
Sweeney back with Royals
Mike Sweeney will get another chance to help the Royals make the playoffs.
Their longtime first baseman and arguably one of the most popular players in Royals history was hired Friday as the club’s special assistant to baseball operations. Sweeney will help at spring training and assist General Manager Dayton Moore and others on various projects.