Both the LA Times and ESPN have reported today that the biggest name player to be suspended to date in Major League Baseball is now Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez. MLB made the announcement shortly after 12 noon and here is the official press release.
Here are some details on the monetary affect this will have on Ramirez from the Times article, written by By Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez (Times Staff Writers).
The suspension will cost Ramirez $7.7 million, or roughly 31% of his $25-million salary. Players in violation of baseball's drug policy are not paid during suspensions.
In an appearance at USC last month, Jose Canseco said Ramirez's name "is most likely, 90%" on a list of 104 players that failed a drug test in 2003. The players were promised anonymity for taking tests in 2003; Rodriguez is the only player that has been identified among that group.
Ramirez laughed when Times columnist Kurt Streeter relayed Canseco's allegation to him.
"I got no comment, nothing to say about that," Ramirez told Streeter. "What can I say? I don't even know the guy."
Now, from the ESPN article written by Jerry Crasnick, this is what Ramirez had to say about his 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," 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."
While no other names besides Alex Rodriguez have been leaked from the 2003 list of 104 tested players for PED use, one might now tend to agree with Canseco's comments as shown above. I for one wouldn't be surprised if Ramirez's name was the next one leaked from that list (if any).
As a reminder, MLB did not have a drug policy in place back in 2003, but the results of those tests, I believe, were the catalyst of the drug policy which was put into place in the next year or two.
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