The appeal process for New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez over his 211-game suspension is expected to soon begin. A pre-arbitration conference is scheduled for Wednesday, Newsday reports.
A pre-arbitration meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at an undisclosed location, a source told Newsday. The meeting is the next step in Rodriguez's appeal of the MLB's season-and-a-half suspension for his alleged involvement with Biogenesis, a South Florida clinic that supplied performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.
MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred, the official who coordinated the investigation into Biogenesis, and senior vice president Dan Halem will represent the league during the appeal and defend its decision to suspend Rodriguez. Both men were former attorneys - Manfred practiced law until joining the league in 1998, and Halem specialized in labor and employment law before joining the league in 2007.
The law firm of Proskauer Rose LLC, where Halem previously worked, will assist the MLB.
The appeal will be arbitrated by Frederic Horowitz, who can overturn, reduce or uphold Rodriguez's suspension.
The MLB asserts Rodriguez used and possessed "numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years." The league also claims Rodriguez deliberately attempted to obstruct and mislead the league's investigation.
Rodriguez's attorneys believe the MLB's case against him is circumstantial.
"Their case is in shambles," Joe Tacopina, an attorney for Rodriguez, told USA Today Sports in August. "They can talk a tough game, but we'll see how they act in a courtroom and a court proceeding. I will annihilate them."
Rodriguez is allowed to continue playing baseball until a decision is rendered.