"Until we rectify that problem, we have not addressed the central issue of eradicating PEDs from professional sports. ... If these individuals go free, it promotes behavior to create processes to distribute PEDs, knowing the league's focus is on the players, not on the distributors of drugs."
Horowitz's decision also reveals that Rodriguez's cousin, Yuri Sucart -- previously identified by Rodriguez in 2009 as his procurer of banned substances when he admitted to having used steroids with the Texas Rangers -- introduced him to Bosch. Horowitz also acknowledged Bosch was a "drug dealer'' who was engaged in illegal activities but found that did not "refute or undermine the findings of JDA violations.''
In fact, Horowitz wrote that he found Bosch's testimony in the appeal hearing to be "direct, credible and squarely corroborated'' by hundreds of pages of evidence presented in the form of notebooks stolen from Biogenesis and later obtained by investigators for Major League Baseball. He rejected the claims of Rodriguez and his attorneys that the notebooks were unreliable and possibly forgeries.
Horowitz also cited more than 500 BlackBerry text messages exchanged between Rodriguez and Bosch as support for Bosch's testimony.
"When viewed as a whole, the hundreds of messages exchanged between Bosch and Rodriguez plainly support the findings of JDA violations contained herein,'' Horowitz wrote.
The arbitrator acknowledged some deficiencies in MLB's case -- including flaws in its testing procedures that allowed Rodriguez to evade detection repeatedly despite being subject to random testing -- but said the flaws "do not eviscerate credible testimony'' from Bosch.
"The only reasonable inference to be drawn from the weight of the evidence,'' Horowitz wrote, "is that Rodriguez violated the JDA as alleged.''