A U.S. arbitrator has ruled that Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the entire 2014 season and playoffs for alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The arbitrator on Saturday upheld about 75 percent of the 211-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball in August of last year.
Rodriguez appealed that suspension and continued to play for his team, the New York Yankees, while the appeal was being considered.
On Saturday, the 38-year-old Rodriguez vowed to appeal the 2014 ban to a U.S. federal court. The suspension will cost him $25 million.
The sport's highest-paid player said he has never used performance-enhancing substances as alleged by Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez admitted that early in his career he used performance-enhancing drugs. He has hit 654 home runs, 108 short of all-time leader Barry Bonds, who was also suspected of using steroids.
In its decision last year, the league suspended Rodriguez and 12 other players for their links to a now-closed U.S.-based clinic that allegedly supplied them with banned substances.
The other 12 suspended all agreed to 50-game suspensions that began immediately. The North American professional baseball season is 162 games.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.