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News Reporter: A record suspension tonight for the baseball star Alex Rodriguez over his use of performance enhancing drugs. Tonight, the long fall for the one time golden boy of baseball, the highest paid player in the sport…, A. Rod. is reacting to the suspension; the biggest and some now believe the final blow to his career. Here tonight, ABC’s Ryan Smith.
Ryan Smith: Alex Rodriguez, fighting for his baseball life; an independent arbitrator slapping him with a 162 games ban for violating the league’s drug policy and for allegedly interfering with the biogenesis investigation.
Jeremy Schapp (ESPN Reporter: He could have been the Michael Jordon of baseball.
Ryan Smith: Rodriguez, once the golden boy of baseball, [has been] featured on magazine covers taking flak from critics for what some describe as an awkward ‘bromance’ photo with himself. Rodriguez, not one to shy away from the limelight, dated starlets like Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson and the material girl herself. This two-time MVP, once defiant against the league’s suspension, now reveals his frustration with the ruling. In a statement issued through his publicist, A. Rod. says, “The number of games, sadly, comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one.”
If Rodriguez doesn’t play, he’ll be almost 40 when he returns. That, coupled with multiple hip surgeries, will make his comeback difficult.
Jeremy Schapp (ESPN Reporter): He will be very motivated to come back. Whether his body, at that point, allows him to do so is anybody’s guess.
Ryan Smith: No matter what happens, the Yankees still owe Rodriguez 61 million dollars on his contract that runs through [to] 2017, making him the league’s highest paid player, whether he plays or not.
Reporter: …Ryan Smith is with us now. And in classic A. Rod. fashion; he’s expected, what, to fight back?
Ryan Smith: Oh, he is gonna fight this. He’s not going away quietly. He’s gonna bring this into federal court and hopefully try and stop the suspension but in the meantime, the suspension applies to games; so he can actually go to spring training and he’s expected to be there.
Reporter: Alright. Ryan, great to have you with us at ABC news and ESPN. See much more of you to come…