According to the Los Angeles Times, Manny Ramirez has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and will be suspended 50 games starting today.
I guess the question now is: Who’s next?
From the Los Angeles Times:
The test result and suspension is expected to be announced later today. The Dodgers informed triple-A outfielder Xavier Paul this morning that he was being promoted to Los Angeles.
Ramirez is expected to attribute the test results to medication received from a doctor for a personal medical issue, according to a source familiar with matter but not authorized to speak publicly.
With the suspension taking effect with tonight’s game at Dodger Stadium, Ramirez will not be eligible to return to the team until July 3.
Ramirez would become the biggest star suspended under an oft-criticized major league testing program that started in 2003. He had been a model citizen since arriving in Los Angeles last August, following a stormy tenure with the Boston Red Sox.
From the New York Times:
Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers All-Star outfielder, was suspended by Major League Baseball on Thursday for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Ramirez’s suspension will begin tonight, M.L.B. said in a written statement, and will cost him about a third of his $25 million salary this year. He will be eligible to return July 3.
Ramirez said in a written statement released by the players’ association that he tested positive not for a steroid but for a medication that a doctor had recently prescribed him for a personal health issue.
“Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy,” Ramirez said. “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.”
The suspension shows that baseball’s drug testing program is working, however, it once again tarnishes one of the game’s premier sluggers. Ramirez joins the ranks of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Alex Rodriguez who have all been tied to the use of performance-enhancing drugs over the past decade. Unlike Ramirez, those players were not suspended because their alleged use came before 2004, when M.L.B. began suspending players for a positive test.