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January 14, 2014

Analyzing A-Rod's Arbitration Case

Breaking Down A-Rod's Arbitration Award

by Eugene Freedman


On Monday, January 13, Alex Rodriguez filed suit against Major League Baseball, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, and the Major League Baseball Players Association. After a short oral argument in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge William H. Pauley III ordered that A-Rod’s attorneys were required to submit an unredacted and complete version of the previously confidential arbitration award with their filing.

While I was excited to read the award when the suspension was announced over the weekend, reading it was pretty anti-climactic. The award itself is quite uninspiring and doesn’t bring to light anything that had previously been missing from the discussion, perhaps because so much was leaked during the investigation and hearing.

The award contains a restatement of much of the evidence presented by MLB in its case against A-Rod. I had previously explained how the arbitration process would work. In this case, Arbitrator Horowitz decided to apply the higher standard of clear and convincing evidence rather than preponderance of the evidence. In applying the higher standard, he found A-Rod to have violated the JDA by taking three separate banned substances: testosterone, Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), and human Growth Hormone (hGH). While he relied upon the testimony of Tony Bosch, he did not do so in a vacuum. Bosch’s testimony was unrebutted, and it was supported by the documentary and electronic evidence. A-Rod’s legal team attacked the validity of that evidence, but they did not appear to present any rebuttal testimony. While the burden was on MLB to prove its case, unrebutted testimony is generally accepted, and it was in this case.

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Related Content:  Alex Rodriguez,  MLBPA,  MLB,  Arbitration,  PEDs,  Law

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