SPORTS

Alex Rodriguez suspension: Lifetime ban possible for baseball star

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The baseball world is holding its breath while it awaits word on a possible suspension - or even a lifetime ban - for New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

USA Today reported Wednesday night that Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is on the cusp of banning the 38-year-old star for life over his use of performance enhancing drugs. It'd be a nearly unprecedented move that's rarely seen in sports.

Rodriguez's attorney, David Cornwell, told USA Today that his client will appeal any suspension or ban, no matter how long.

The likely suspension of Rodriguez will be just one of more than a half-dozen players who will be disciplined for past and present steroid use.

According to ABC, those players range from well-known Major Leaguers, including Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers and Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, to utility men and minor leaguers.

Rodriguez, though, as the highest-paid player in baseball history, is clearly at the center of the storm, and there's support in and out of baseball for a rare lifetime ban.

"There are certain people in baseball - players included - that think Alex Rodriguez should be banned for life if indeed there is proof to do that," ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian told ABC News.

Rather than banning him solely for use of steroids, USA Today says that Selig would likely have to use a clause in the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows him to ban a player for life for "for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball."

Perhaps the most prominent player to be banned from baseball is Pete Rose, who was banished in 1989 after it was discovered that he bet on the game while managing the Cincinnati Reds. He vehemently denied doing so for decades before coming clean in 2004.

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