Alex Rodriguez withdraws lawsuit to overturn suspension

MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 05: Professional Baseball Player Alex Rodriguez attends the Aby Rosen & Samantha Boardman Dinner at The Dutch on December 5, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Aby Rosen Dinner) Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images for Aby Rosen Dinner

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez accepted his season-long suspension from Major League Baseball on Friday, the longest penalty in the sport's history related to performance-enhancing drugs.

The decision came nearly four weeks after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz issued his decision largely upholding the penalty issued to the New York Yankees third baseman last summer by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

Rodriguez had repeatedly proclaimed his innocence and sued MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association in federal court to overturn the penalty.

But 27 days after Horowitz's decision, with the start of spring training a week away, the three-time AL MVP withdrew the lawsuit and a previous action filed last fall claiming MLB and Selig were engaged in a "witch hunt" against him.

MLB issued a statement calling the decision to end the litigation "prudent."

"We believe that Mr. 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 sport said. "We share that desire."

 Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now shuttered Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis of America, said in a "60Minutes" interview aired last month that Rodriguez paid him $12,000 per month to provide him with an assortment of banned drugs that included testosterone and human growth hormone.

Rodriguez had angered many of his fellow players by suing his own union in an attempt to avoid a suspension.

"Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit," the union said in a statement. "His decision to move forward is in everyone's best interest."

After issuing a contentious statement on the day of the arbitration decision, Rodriguez folded quietly.

"We stand by the statements issued and have no further comment," Rodriguez spokesman Ron Berkowitz said.

Last month, Rodriguez hinted that he was ready to accept his suspension.

"I think that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I've played 20 years without a timeout," Rodriguez said in Spanish at a press conference in Mexico City. "I think 2014 will be a year to rest mentally and physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life."



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