Manny to serve 50-game suspension
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ESPN.com news services
Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Los Angeles Dodgers
outfielder Manny Ramirez
has been suspended for 50 games for violating its drug policy.
The commissioner's office didn't announce the specific violation by Ramirez, but in a statement Thursday provided by Major League Baseball, Ramirez attributed the violation to medication he had been prescribed by a doctor.
"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. "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. I want to apologize to [Dodgers owner Frank] McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, [manager Joe] Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I'm sorry about this whole situation."
After consultation with the Players' Association and his personal representatives, Ramirez waived his right to challenge the suspension. He will lose about one-third of his $25 million salary.
Ramirez's test result was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Triple-A outfielder Xavier Paul has been told by the Dodgers that he will be promoted later today, according to The Times. Ramirez would be eligible to return to the Dodgers' lineup for their July 3 game against San Diego.
In his first full season as a Dodger, Ramirez is batting .348 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. Los Angeles has bolted to a 21-8 record -- best in the majors -- and a 13-0 record at home that set the modern major league record for home winning streak to start a season.
The report of a Ramirez positive test is the second to rock the sport in three months. In February, New York Yankees
third baseman Alex Rodriguez
admitted that he used steroids from 2001-2003 while with the Texas Rangers