A-Rod’s 211-Game MLB Ban Backed by 72 Percent of Fans in Survey

Major League Baseball’s 211-game doping ban of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is supported by 72 percent of U.S. sports fans, with almost half of those saying he should be kicked out of the game for life, according to a poll by Seton Hall University.

The Seton Hall poll found that 37 percent of those surveyed want the ban upheld, while an additional 35 percent would favor having him banned for life.

Rodriguez filed an appeal with an independent arbitrator Aug. 6, one day after MLB suspended him without pay through the 2014 season. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig accused Rodriguez of using testosterone and human growth hormone for several years and of trying to “obstruct and frustrate” baseball’s probe of a now-closed Miami clinic that MLB accuses of supplying performance-enhancing substances to players.

Rodriguez, 38, began the appeal before a three-person arbitration panel in New York on Sept. 30 and is expected to wrap up his case this week, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

Selig said last week that he will retire as commissioner after the 2014 season. Of those polled, 57 percent said he will enjoy a positive or extremely positive legacy, 20 percent said it would be negative or extremely negative, and 24 percent said they did not know.

“It would appear that the continuing appeal of the game under his reign -- in attendance, marketing, expanded playoffs, popular new ballparks and more -- will override the steroid issue in people’s minds,” Rick Gentile, director of the poll sponsored by the Sharkey Institute, said in a release. “Of course, responses could also be influenced by his battling the very unpopular Rodriguez on the steroid issue.”

The survey, with a 4 percent margin of error, was based on random phone calls to the landlines and mobile phones of 668 American adults between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, according to Seton Hall, which is based in South Orange, New Jersey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Curtis Eichelberger in Washington at ceichelberge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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