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Union Looking at Nixon Decision : Baseball: The players group hopes to decide in a few days if it is going to file a grievance on behalf of the suspended Atlanta outfielder.

September 18, 1991|ROSS NEWHAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Michael Weiner, assistant general counsel of the Major League Players Assn., said Tuesday that the union will decide "in the next few days" whether to file a grievance on behalf ofOtis Nixon.

The Atlanta Brave outfielder was suspended for 60 days by Commissioner Fay Vincent Monday after a positive drug test, a violation of his 1987 aftercare program.

A grievance, Weiner said, could be based on any one of several aspects.

"We could challenge the accuracy of the test and the severity of the discipline," he said. "We have had discussions and negotiations with the commissioner in the past on his 60-day penalty for a second offense.

"We could also question whether Nixon was actually a second-time offender. His program was instated when he was a minor leaguer. We knew nothing about it."

A grievance would be filed with baseball arbitrator George Nicolau, who has the authority to order a stay in the carrying out of the suspension. Nicolau is on vacation in Greece "but not completely out of reach," said Weiner, who added that Nicolau could expedite a grievancehearing.

The Braves, however, have only 17 games remaining as they battle the Dodgers for the National League West lead.

"I understand that, but we want to be careful in this area," Weiner said. "We want to have all the facts and considerations in mind. We're giving it serious thought."

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