- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Alex Rodriguez's legal team will challenge Major League Baseball's assertion that the embattled slugger has committed multiple violations of its drug policy, the New York Yankees third baseman's lawyer said Tuesday.
MLB suspended Rodriguez for 211 games earlier this month for what baseball alleged was his use of banned substances over "multiple years," among other violations.
Rodriguez's attorney, David Cornwell, said Tuesday in an interview with New York radio station WFAN that Rodriguez's legal team will challenge that allegation during its appeal of the suspension.
"We are challenging that there are multiple violations of the (Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment) Program," Cornwell said.
Cornwell also denied reports that Rodriguez's lawyers attempted to broker a deal with MLB that would have allowed the three-time MVP to accept a 100-game ban, retire and recoup his remaining salary.
"No, it did not happen," Cornwell said.
The Major League Baseball Players Association formally appealed Rodriguez's suspension two days after it was handed down, sending the case to an independent arbitrator, Fredric Horowitz. Rodriguez's legal team, according to Cornwell, will call its own witnesses in front of Horowitz and will cross-examine baseball's witnesses.
Cornwell declined to speculate on how long it would take for the appeal process to play out.
Hal Steinbrenner, for one, is happy the Yankees have him on the field while they can.
"I made it clear to Alex three weeks ago that we needed him back," Steinbrenner, the Yanks' managing general partner, told the New York Post on Tuesday. "We hope he stays healthy and is productive for us. He has the capability to be a help to us."
Cornwell asserted it would take longer than 20 days for Rodriguez's legal team to parse the documents and evidence that baseball has collected in its case. He said that Rodriguez's lawyers had not yet requested to see baseball's evidence against their client.
But Cornwell denied that Rodriguez's side is trying to delay the appeal process.
"We're driving it forward," Cornwell said.
Rodriguez is permitted to play during the appeal. Entering play Tuesday, Rodriguez was hitting .273 with one home run and two RBIs in six games.
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
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