Alex Rodriguez: Last seven months a 'nightmare'; vows to 'keep fighting'

(CNN) --

Asked Monday whether he had used performance-enhancing drugs, New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez declined to comment. "I think we'll have a forum to discuss all of that, and we'll talk about it then," he told reporters.

Rodriguez got his start as a professional ballplayer with the Seattle Mariners when he was drafted by the team in 1993. When he made his debut as a player with the team, he was the third major league ballplayer to start their career at the age of 18.

[Breaking news update 6:26 p.m. ET]

The last seven months have been a "nightmare," New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez told reporters Monday. It "has been probably the worst time of my life for sure," he said, "obviously for the circumstances that are at hand and also dealing with a very tough surgery and a rehab program, and being 38."

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Major League Baseball said Monday that it's disciplining 13 players, including New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez, after an investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The league suspended Rodriguez for 211 regular-season games through the 2014 season, but the 38-year-old slugger said he planned to appeal. Twelve other players have accepted 50-game suspensions without pay.

A-Rod and the other players are accused of having ties to the now-shuttered Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in south Florida and taking performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez has denied the accusation.

"I am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process. I am eager to get back on the field and be with my teammates in Chicago tonight," he said in a statement after the league announced its decision Monday. "I want to thank my family, friends and fans who have stood by my side through all this."

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