From Jason Carroll
(CNN) — New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez sharply criticized Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and the league’s investigations division Thursday.
“I am deeply troubled by my team’s investigative findings with respect to MLB’s conduct,” Rodriguez said through his spokesman Ron Berkowitz.
Rodriguez accused Selig of turning a blind eye to what he said was “gross, ongoing misconduct” of the division that he claims was responsible for his suspension.
Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game suspension for alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
His legal team will present its side of the case to an arbitrator on November 18.
Major League Baseball had a similarly sharp response for the three-time MVP and 14-time All-Star.
“This latest, sad chapter in Mr. Rodriguez’s tarnished career is yet another example of this player trying to avoid taking responsibility for his poor choices,” said the league’s Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred.
He continued, “Mr. Rodriguez’s use of (performance-enhancing drugs) was longer and more pervasive than any other player, and when this process is complete, the facts will prove that it is Mr. Rodriguez and his representatives who have engaged in ongoing, gross misconduct.”
Since the arbitration hearing began on September 30, Rodriguez has filed two lawsuits: one against Selig and MLB, and a second against Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad and his hospital, New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
Earlier this month, Manfred strongly denied any improper conduct on behalf of the investigative team.
“Our investigators have complied with all legal and ethical requirements throughout the process,” he said.
Manfred confirmed authorizing $125,000 for documents to find out about violations of the league’s drug policy.
The files in question come from the now-shuttered Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in South Florida, which MLB says supplied steroids to at least a dozen baseball players. A police report obtained by CNN shows the files were reported stolen from the car of a former Biogenesis worker.
The worker told police that MLB representatives had “offered him a job and up to $125,000 for the client files.”
The last offer was on March 18, and the documents were stolen six days later, according to the police report.
Manfred told CNN that no one from Major League Baseball knew the documents were reported stolen.
“In fact, the people we bought them from made representations to the contrary,” he said.
Rodriguez was one of 14 players suspended in connection with the Biogenesis scandal and is the only one who appealed his suspension.
Rodriguez, 38, is fifth on MLB’s list of all-time home run leaders, just six behind Willie Mays. He would make $25 million in 2014, if his suspension is overturned. If his suspension is upheld, he won’t be eligible to return until 49 games into the 2015 season.
CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.
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