News

Rodriguez says he’s ‘fighting for his life’

Rodriguez says he’s ‘fighting for his life’

"The last seven months has been a nightmare, probably the worst time of my life," Rodriguez said. Photo: Associated Press

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Alex Rodriguez, vowing to continue playing for the New York Yankees while he appeals his doping suspension, said he felt like he was “fighting for his life.”

Describing the last seven months as a “nightmare,” Rodriguez told a packed news conference in Chicago on Monday that he was prepared to go the distance to clear his name after being given a 211-game ban for alleged drug offences.

“I’m fighting for my life,” he said. “I have to defend myself. If I don’t, no-one else will.”

Rodriguez was among 13 players suspended by Major League Baseball for their alleged links with a Florida clinic accused of supplying players with performance-enhancing drugs.

The other 12 players all accepted 50-game bans, which is about eight weeks in MLB, but Rodriguez appealed after he was given a much stiffer penalty, suspended until the end of the 2014 season.

The 38-year-old has not played this season because of injury but is allowed to play until his appeal, which has yet to be scheduled.

On the same day the penalty was announced, the third baseman was preparing to rejoin the Yankees against the Chicago White Sox.

Before the game, he addressed reporters, declining to talk about the specific allegations again him, talking instead about his joy at playing after being sidelined following hip surgery.

“I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to put on this uniform again and to play Major League Baseball again,” he said.

“I feel like I was 18 years old, back in Fenway Park back in 1994, when I went in to face the Red Sox for the very first time.

“It’s been 20 years, and I’m just very excited to go out there and play baseball.”

Rodriguez was twice asked whether he had used performance enhancing drugs but did not say, replying instead that the case was still ongoing.

“We’ll have a forum to discuss all of that, and we’ll talk about it then,” he said.

“It’s been the toughest fight of my life, and not by any means am I out of the woods,” he added.

“This is probably just ‘phase two’ probably starting. It’s not going to get any easier. It’s probably going to get hard, but I am humbled and I am thankful for the support.”

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

Fresh
nirvana

A look back at some of Hollywood's most memorable moments.

in Sports

James leads Cavaliers past Bulls, 114-108 in OT

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James poses at the NBA basketball team's media day Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in Independence, Ohio.

James was at his best after struggling the previous night

in Sports

Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon looks on during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Minneapolis.

Joe Maddon has been hired as manager of the Cubs after the team fired Rick Renteria.

in Sports

Kentucky earns No. 1 nod in AP preseason poll

Kentucky men's coach John Calipari

Kentucky is No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the second straight season.

in Sports

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon resigns

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announces that athletic director Dave Brandon resigned during a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett will serve as Michigan's interim athletic director.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon resigned Friday, setting the stage for new leadership at the top of one of the nation's most prominent athletic departments.

Bellingham Traffic