NEW YORK CITY — Following two months of hearings an independent arbitrator handed down a revised judgement that would ban Yankees' third basemen Alex Rodriguez from the sport for 162 games, the AP reported.
The amount was reduced from the original 211-game ban called for by the arbitration panel's chairman Frederic Horowitz, and was announced Saturday after it was first reported by the AP Friday.
Rodriguez, who will still be participating in spring training and exhibition games but would be sidelined for any postseason games of 2014 under the ruling, vowed to fight the order.
"The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one," said A-Rod in a statement.
"This is one man's decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test...[and] relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable," he said.
The ruling panel is actually made up of three members, MLB's Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, and the MLB union's General Counsel Dave Prouty, the AP wrote. The union "strongly disagreed" with the decision but said it was binding, the report said.
The 211-game suspension was initially issued in August, and was the result of penalties issued following an investigation by the MLB into use of performance enhancing drugs by 14 players who got 50-game suspensions.
Rodriguez was penalized for his "possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years" the MLB said in 2013 and the punishment was for attempts to cover it up and interfere with investigators, the AP noted.
Rodriguez stands to lose $25 million of the $86 million remaining on his contract, the AP reported.