New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the entire 2014 baseball season. On Saturday, January 11, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz issued Rodriguez’s punishment for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The suspension came as a result of an investigation by Major League Baseball (MLB). The MLB has strict rules against the use of these substances. Rodriguez is the most well-known player to violate baseball’s drug ban.
Rules of the Game
The MLB has accused Rodriguez, often called “A-Rod,” of using performance-enhancing drugs from 2009-2012. This makes him a repeat offender: five years ago he admitted to the use of drugs while with the Texas Rangers. Saturday’s ruling is the most severe punishment in the history of baseball's drug agreement. The 14-time All-Star will lose over $22 million of his $25 million salary.
Rodriguez began his Major League Baseball career in 1993 when the Seattle Mariners selected him as the first overall pick in the MLB draft. He was just 18 years old when made his debut with the team. Rodriguez went on to play for the Texas Rangers in 2001, where he received a 10-year, $252 million contract. It was the highest-paying contract ever given to an athlete at the time. During his time with the Rangers, Rodriguez received a Most Valuable Player (MVP) honor. After the 2003 season, he was traded to the New York Yankees. With the Yankees, Rodriguez received two more MVP honors, hitting his 500th home run in 2007.
Off the Field
Though he is considered one of the greatest in the sport, Rodriguez’s successful baseball career has become overshadowed by his use of illegal drugs. He is permitted to participate in spring training with the New York Yankees and to play in exhibition games, but it is likely that the Yankees may tell him not to do so. Rodriguez’s contract with the Yankees extends through the 2017 season. He won’t be eligible to return to the field until 2015.