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MLB calls bluff; A-Rod backs down

New York Yankees v BostRed Sox

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox

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NEW YORK — A lawyer for New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez declined Major League Baseball’s challenge Monday to make public the evidence that led to Rod-
riguez’s 211-game suspension.

MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred wrote to lawyer Joseph Tacopina, urging him to waive his client’s confidentiality under the Joint Drug Agreement so the documents could be released. Tacopina had said he wanted to discuss evidence publicly but was constrained by the provision.

Manfred proposed that both sides disclose information and documents relating to all drug tests that were conducted on Rodriguez under the program and their results, all prior violations of the program committed by Rodriguez and all documents relating to the issue of whether Rodriguez obstructed the office of the commissioner’s investigation into his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Tacopina, a lawyer with one of the four firms representing Rodriguez, said the Major League Baseball Players Association would have to agree to waive confidentiality. The union didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rodriguez is playing pending his appeal, which isn’t expected to be decided by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz until at least November.

Tacopina also claims Yankees president Randy Levine told Dr. Bryan Kelly of the Hospital for Special Surgery, who in January performed the operation on Rodriguez’s left hip that kept him out until this month, that he didn’t want to see Rodriguez play for the team again. Levine has denied the allegation.

‘‘This is part of the mind-set of what they’re doing to this guy and working in conjunction with MLB to try to keep him off the field,’’
Tacopina told the Associated Press.

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