Dodgers’ Ramirez suspended for drugs
Published 5:56 pm Thursday, May 7, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) — Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball on Thursday, becoming the latest high-profile player ensnared in the sport’s drug scandals.
The Los Angeles Dodgers star said he did not take steroids, blaming medication prescribed by a doctor.
A person familiar with the details of the suspension said Ramirez provided a urine sample during spring training that tested positive for HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the banned substance wasn’t announced.
HCG is popular among steroid users because it can mitigate the side effects of ending a cycle of the drugs. The body may stop producing testosterone when users go off steroids, which can cause sperm counts to decrease and testicles to shrink.
“We share the disappointment felt by our fans, our players, and every member of our organization,” Dodgers chief executive officer Jamie McCourt said in a statement. “We will welcome Manny back upon his return.”
The 36-year-old outfielder apologized to the Dodgers and fans for “this whole situation.”
“Recently, I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me,” Ramirez said in a statement issued by the players’ union.
“Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I’ve taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons.”