TORONTO: In this file photo taken on Oct 4, 2016, former Major League Baseball player Roberto Alomar throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the American League Wild Card game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. – AFP

NEW YORK: Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar was fired Friday as a consultant to Major League Baseball and placed upon the permanently ineligible list over a 2014 sexual misconduct incident. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred issued the punishment, which also led to the Toronto Blue Jays severing ties to the 53-year-old Puerto Rican, who played in MLB from 1988 through 2004 and helped the Blue Jays to World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

"At my office's request, an independent investigation was conducted by an external legal firm to review an allegation of sexual misconduct reported by a baseball industry employee earlier this year involving Mr Alomar in 2014," Manfred said. "Having reviewed all of the available evidence from the now completed investigation, I have concluded that Mr. Alomar violated MLB's policies, and that termination of his consultant contract and placement on MLB's Ineligible List are warranted.

"We are grateful for the courage of the individual who came forward. MLB will continue to strive to create environments in which people feel comfortable speaking up without fear of recrimination, retaliation, or exclusion." Manfred said no further details of the incident would be released to protect the identity of the individual involved, while Alomar released a statement on Twitter saying he wanted a forum to challenge the accusation against him.

"I am disappointed, surprised and upset with today's news," Alomar said. "With the current social climate, I understand why Major League Baseball has taken the position they have. My hope is that this allegation can be heard in a venue that will allow me to address the accusation directly." Alomar would need to apply to MLB for reinstatement from the banned list.

Alomar, whose father Sandy Alomar Sr. was an MLB second baseman in the 1960s and 1970s, served several roles for the Blue Jays, whose president, Mark Shapiro, supported the decision by Manfred in cutting all ties with him. "The Toronto Blue Jays believe in creating a safe, inclusive, and empathetic environment, where everyone involved in our game is respected," Shapiro said. "I am reaffirming our organization's commitment to our employees, fans, media, and partners to uphold a culture of respect that treats all individuals with dignity."

The Blue Jays, in a statement, said they were removing honors to Alomar in the team's home ballpark, where his jersey number, 12, had been retired. "The Blue Jays are severing all ties with Alomar, effective immediately," the team statement said. "The Blue Jays are committed to advancing respect and equity in baseball and are taking further action by removing Alomar from the Level of Excellence and taking down his banner at Rogers Centre."

Alomar was named to 12 consecutive MLB All-Star Games from 1990 to 2001 and finished his 17-year career with a .300 batting average, 2,724 hits, 270 home runs with 1,134 runs batted in and 474 stolen bases. Alomar played for the Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets before retiring in 2005. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 with 90 percent support from a media selection panel. - AFP