New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for 211 games for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez through the end of the 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs, lying to the MLB about said drug use and for hampering the league’s investigation into the Biogenesis steroid scandal. The suspension begins Thursday and baseball’s top earning player will not be allowed to play for a total of 211 games.

This is the official statement from the MLB’s public relations:

Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2013 Championship Season and Postseason and the entire 2014 Championship Season for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement.

Rodriguez’s discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation. The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8th, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play.

Under the terms of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Rodriguez’s suspension will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez files a grievance challenging his discipline.

Per said grievance, Rodriguez has said he plans to challenge the suspension, meaning he will be allowed to play, is is expected to do so Monday against the Chicago White Sox, until the case is decided by an arbiter. That could be a very long process.

Rodriguez initially tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in 2003 while he was with the Texas Rangers. However, the results of the random testing that caught Rodriguez were supposed to remain anonymous and the New York Yankees offered to buy the Rangers out of their contract with the all-star to bring the highest paid man in baseball and the most successful franchise in baseball together. It was supposed to be an unbeatable combination. All he had to do was stay clean and out of trouble.

However, the results of the 2003 testing were published by Sports Illustrated in 2009 and in an attempt to save his good name, Rodriguez allegedly offered to buy evidence linking him to Biogenesis, the Miami clinic that distributed PEDs to many professional baseball players, from a clinic employee. That man, Anthony Bosch, went on to cooperate with the league’s investigation. It was that move that led to his unprecedented 211-game suspension.

Rodriguez was not the only player punished Monday for their involvement with Biogenesis. Each of the other players, however, only received 50 game suspensions, they include:

  • Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers
  • Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres
  • Fautino De Los Santos of the San Diego Padres
  • Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers
  • Francisco Cervelli of the New York Yankees
  • Fernando Martinez of the New York Yankees
  • Jordany Valdespin of the New York Mets
  • Cesar Puello of the New York Mets
  • Antonio Bastardo of the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Sergio Escalona of the Houston Astros
  • Jesus Montero of the Seattle Mariners
  • Jordan Norberto, currently a free agent

In a tweet earlier today, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who is not involved in the scandal called it a “day of infamy for [the] MLB.”

Ultimately, although today will be a day of infamy for MLB, it is a tremendous step in the right direction for the game we love.

– Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) August 5, 2013