Baseball superstar Manny Ramirez has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and has been suspended 50 games, starting Thursday.
Ramirez released a statement acknowledging the suspension.
“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 that policy, that mistake is now my responsibility,” he said. “I’ve been advised not to say anything more.”
Some reporters, especially a vocally and clearly angry Bill Plaschke, who ranted on ESPN Thursday afternoon, don’t believe the “doctor” story.
“Was there a Dominican cousin mentioned in there? Who in their right mind would believe that?” said Plaschke.
Plaschke called the situation “devestating to this city’s (Los Angeles) baseball culture, absolutely devastating.”
“How many times are we going to keep believing players who say ‘I didn’t know what it was?'” said Plaschke. “Get the guy out of a Dodger uniform. Get this guy out of baseball.”
Ramirez asserts that in the past, he has successfully passed 15 drug tests.
“Los Angeles is a special place to me, and i know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I’m sorry about this whole situation.”
The Los Angeles Times is first reported the story Thursday morning.
The times reported that Dodgers told AAA outfielder Xavier Paul to be ready to report to Los Angeles.
The Times says that Ramirez will say the test results are because of medication he received from a doctor for a medical issue.
If the report is true, it is a brutal blow to baseball. Manny Ramirez was widely considered one of the last “clean” superstars and was an absolute first ballot hall of famer until today.
Ramirez would be the second of his superstar ilk to fall this season, behind Alex Rodriguez.
Ramirez led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships. He leads the Dodgers this season with a .348 batting average and has six home runs so far.
Ramirez has previously denied steroid use.