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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thurm: Rodriguez Arbitration Decision A Clean Sweep For MLB

And I thought this was fast stacking!

Wait a second. The Players Association argued that the maximum penalty was 50 games as a first violation, but that Section 7.G.2 provided the “governing framework”? And that Section 7.A. — which does contain the 50-100-lifetime penalty scheme — doesn’t apply when there has been “continuous use or possession of multiple substances”? Frankly, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, and it makes me wonder if the Players Association didn’t clearly articulate its view of the governing agreements or the arbitrator misconstrued the union’s position.

Moreover, the arbitrator’s interpretation of Section 7.A. omits a key portion of the language. He points to the first part of the section that talks about a player “who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance” (his emphasis) and concludes that the section couldn’t apply to a situation involving evidence of multiples uses of a PED. But he completely ignores the second part of the section: a player who otherwise violates the Program through the possession or use of a Performance Enhancing Substance will be subject to the 50-100-lifetime regime (my emphasis). What does that language mean if it doesn’t apply to players found to have used or possessed PEDs absent a positive drug test?...

In other words, 50-game suspensions can be stacked one on top of the other when MLB has evidence that a player used one or more PEDs on multiple occasions.

Think about that. When a player tests positive for a PED, and it’s the first violation, he is suspended for 50 games. But how many players use a PED only one time and that just happens to be when he is tested? Isn’t is more likely that a player who tests positive for PEDs had used on multiple occasions over an extended period of time?

And yet the arbitrator’s decision grants MLB broad powers to discipline players much more harshly when the league’s own testing program fails and the league develops independent evidence of use.

Whatever you think of Alex Rodriguez, Tony Bosch, and the entire Biogenesis mess, it’s hard to accept such an absurd legal result.

The District Attorney Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:07 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex rodriguez, legal, ped, yankees

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   1. thetailor (Brian) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4638976)
This is a really good analysis. Essentially, the MLBPA got hosed on the JDA. MLB can stack punishments, despite the fact that the JDA says:

“If a player tests positive for multiple substances, he will only be punished for the singular substance that allows for the longest ban”.

It's really amazing, what's happened here. A-Rod had a non-analytical positive, which allowed them to circumvent the above despite the plain language and intent of the agreement.

The players have no protection here. Not only can MLB stack punishments, but can use the "best interests" clause to essentially render the JDA useless. I dislike A-Rod as much as the next guy, and think he should be suspended and yada yada, but honestly, this appears to be an enormous failure on the MLBPA's part in collectively bargaining it this way.
   2. The Kinder, Gentler Ray (RDP) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 09:25 PM (#4639148)
Thurm has been excellent on this subject.

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