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Report: A-Rod interview with MLB called off

11/15/2013 11:37 AM ET
By The Associated Press

Alex Rodriguez appeared at a hearing in September regarding his appeal of his suspension by MLB.(AP)
NEW YORK (AP) Alex Rodriguez's scheduled investigatory interview with Major League Baseball was called off because the New York Yankees third baseman is feeling ill, according to a person familiar with the process.

Rodriguez is in California with flu-like systems and was unable to fly to New York for Friday's session, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games by MLB on Aug. 5 for alleged violations of the sport's drug agreement and labor contract, and the players' association filed a grievance to overturn the penalty. The case, being heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, is scheduled to resume Monday.

A-Rod hopes to be able to travel in time to attend Monday's session, the person said Thursday night.

The three-time AL MVP said four years ago that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03, but he has denied using them since. At the time of his suspension, MLB said the penalty was for "use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years" and for "engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the office of the commissioner's investigation."

Rodriguez was called in for an interview by MLB in July. In a 1980 grievance involving Ferguson Jenkins, arbitrator Raymond Goetz ruled the pitcher had a right to not incriminate himself because legal charges were pending, and that MLB could not discipline him for refusing to answer its questions.

MLB has been expected to assert that Rodriguez should not be allowed to testify at his grievance if he first refused to answer MLB's questions at the investigatory interview.

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