NEW YORK -- A representative for Alex Rodriguez has denied a published report that the Yankees third baseman is planning to claim that he believed he had been supplied with legal supplements by the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic.
Rodriguez appeared at Major League Baseball's New York headquarters for a third consecutive day on Wednesday. The three-time American League Most Valuable Player is appealing a 211-game suspension that was levied by MLB on Aug. 5, as part of the league's investigation into Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic that formerly operated in Coral Gables, Fla.
"We cannot provide any details of this hearing as the chair of the arbitration panel has issued an order prohibiting all parties from commenting publicly on the confidential proceedings, but what is being reported is not true," Rodriguez's spokesman, Ron Berkowitz, said in a statement.
Citing a source, the New York Daily News reported on Wednesday that Rodriguez's attorneys "have presented a case based partly" on the claim that the substances Rodriguez received from Biogenesis and its founder, Anthony Bosch, were believed to be legal.
Bosch, who is cooperating with the league's investigation into the clinic, is expected to testify that Rodriguez knowingly received illegal performance-enhancing drugs from his operation.
Rodriguez has said that he plans to be present for all of the proceedings taking place within MLB's Park Avenue offices and estimated that the process should take five days.
Fredric Horowitz, an independent arbitrator who is based in Southern California, will review the case and has the options to completely uphold, reduce or dismiss Rodriguez's suspension. Horowitz is expected to issue a ruling within 25 days of the opening of the hearing.
In August, MLB stated that it was disciplining Rodriguez due to "use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years," as well as "attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner's investigation."
The Yankees have said that they are continuing to plan as though Rodriguez will be available to play third base next season, pending Horowitz's decision. Rodriguez is set to earn approximately $25 million in 2014, plus a possible $6 million bonus if he hits six home runs to tie Willie Mays' career total of 660.
"It's not something that's in our control, so I'm not focused on it," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Tuesday. "I have Alex plugged in, unless I'm told something different."