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Manny Ramirez Suspended

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Manny Ramirez Suspended

Post  Mad Clint on 2009-05-09, 19:31

MANNY RAMIREZ


Born: May 30, 1972 in Santo Domingo, D.R.
Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1st round (13th pick) of the 1991 amateur draft.
Signed June 5, 1991.
Debut: September 2, 1993

Bats: Right , Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" , Weight: 190 lb.


Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games Thursday following a positive performance-enhancing drug test.

Ramirez's suspension was based not on a spring training urine test result but rather evidence obtained afterward, a person familiar with the suspension told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because those details were not released. MLB had concluded the spring test was positive, but the person said the players' association would have challenged the result because of "testing issues."

In a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association, Ramirez said, "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. 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."

A person familiar with the details of the suspension told the AP Ramirez used the female fertility drug HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin.
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.

"As tough as it is for us, it's pretty tough for Manny, too," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I know he's the one that did the wrong thing and nobody is trying to cover that up, but it's still something that I know he's sorry about."
Torre spoke to his team during a closed-door meeting before batting practice.
"The mood was sad in the clubhouse," he said. "You can't have someone who's as much of an impact player and personality as Manny missing without it affecting people."

Ramirez is the second marquee major league baseball player to be linked to performance-enhancing drugs this year. New York Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez admitted earlier this year that he used steroids between 2001 and 2003 -- before MLB banned the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The Ramirez news taints the record that the Dodgers set Wednesday in going 13-0 at home entering Thursday's game. Ramirez drove in two runs as the Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 10-3 Wednesday.
Ramirez leads the Dodgers in batting average (.348), on-base percentage (.492) and slugging percentage (.641), and he is tied for the team lead in home runs with six.

After protracted negotiations over the winter, Ramirez signed a two-year, $45 million contract with the Dodgers in March. The first year guaranteed him $25 million and he has a second-year option at $20 million.

According to the league's drug policy, a player receives a 50-game suspension for a first positive drug test, a 100-game suspension for a second positive test and a lifetime ban for a third positive test.
The suspensions are without pay. The suspension will cost Ramirez $7.7 million in salary.

After consulting the players' union and his agent and attorneys, Ramirez waived his right to challenge the suspension.

Ranked 17th on the career home run list with 533, Ramirez became the most prominent baseball player to be penalized for drugs. His ban came three months after Rodriguez admitted using steroids, and at a time when Barry Bonds is under federal indictment and Roger Clemens is being investigated by a federal grand jury to determine whether he lied when he told Congress he never used steroids or human growth hormone. And Miguel Tejada was sentenced in March to one year of probation after pleading guilty in federal court to misleading Congress about the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

No matter which way baseball turns, the legitimacy of many of its recent home run and pitching records is being questioned. Sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have been tainted by steroid allegations, Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for a banned drug and Jose Canseco said he used them.
In every case, players once believed to be locks for the Hall of Fame may now be locked out.
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