A-Rod declines MLB challenge to release evidence

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for Alex Rodriguez declined Major League Baseball's challenge to make public the evidence that led

to the 211-game suspension of the New York Yankees star.

MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred

wrote to lawyer Joseph Tacopina on Monday, urging him to waive his

client's confidentiality

under baseball's Joint Drug Agreement so the documents could be

released. Tacopina had said he wanted to discuss evidence

publicly but was constrained by the provision.

"We will agree to waive those provisions as

they apply to both Rodriguez and the office of commissioner of baseball

with respect

to Rodriguez's entire history under the program, including, but

not limited to, his testing history, test results, violations

of the program, and all information and evidence relating to

Rodriguez's treatment by Anthony Bosch, Anthony Galea and Victor

Conte," Manfred wrote in the letter, which was released by MLB.

Bosch was head of the Biogenesis of America

anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing

drugs.

Galea pleaded guilty two years ago to a federal charge of bringing

unapproved drugs into the United States from Canada. Conte

was head of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the target of a

federal investigation that led to criminal charges against

Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and others.

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."

Tacopina, a lawyer with one of the four firms representing Rodriguez, said the players' association would have to agree to

waive confidentiality.

"The letter was nothing more than a cheap

publicity stunt," Tacopina said in a statement. "The letter that was

addressed to

my law office with the words 'Via Hand Delivery' on top was in

fact never delivered to my office but was instead given to

the 'Today' show, which in and of itself is yet another violation

of the confidentiality clause of the JDA. They know full

well that they have to address the letter to the MLBPA and such a

waiver would require the MLBAPA to be party of the agreement

and signatures. It's nothing but a theatrical trap hoping I would

sign knowing that I couldn't and in fact would have me breaching

the JDA agreement if I did."

The union didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez is playing pending his appeal, which is not expected to be decided by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz

until at least November.

"I know the evidence against Alex Rodriguez,

and I will tell you this: It will never stand up in a court of law or

in an arbitration-panel

courtroom. Never," Tacopina told NBC.

"Alex Rodriguez, when we confront this evidence, will have been found not responsible to the point where he shouldn't serve

one inning of a suspension as opposed to 211 games," Tacopina said. "I know the evidence in this case."

Rodriguez is among 14 players disciplined by MLB this summer following its Biogenesis investigation. Former NL MVP Ryan Braun

accepted a 65-game suspension and 12 players agreed to 50-game penalties.

"If he listens to me, if I were advising him based on the evidence and based on what I know about the evidence," Tacopina

told NBC, "I would tell him, 'Don't take one inning, Alex. Forget 50 games. Don't take one inning.'"