Sports Outside the Beltway

Manny Ramirez suspended fifty games for using banned substance

Another high profile athlete snared by drug testing. From ESPN-

Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball on Thursday, becoming the latest high-profile player ensnared in the sport’s drug scandals.

The Los Angeles Dodgers star said he did not take steroids and was prescribed medication by a doctor that contained a banned substance. The commissioner’s office didn’t announce the specific violation by the 36-year-old outfielder, who apologized to the Dodgers and fans for “this whole situation.”

“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 in a statement issued by the players’ union.

“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.”

The suspension began Thursday and barring any postponements Ramriez will be able to return to the Dodgers — who now have the best record in baseball — for the July 3 game at San Diego. Ramirez will lose almost $8 million of his $25 million salary.

The ‘I was prescribed the substance’ excuse explanation. It’s been used so often, I don’t buy it any more. If I was an athlete who was prescribed any medication and at some later time drug tested, I would make sure before hand that it wasn’t banned. Just speaking as having a long history of being a major medical patient, I don’t just take any medication from a doctor without knowing what it is, what it is used for, and what if any side effects come from using it.

The article also states-

Strength coaches around Major League Baseball have long preached to players that any substance they consider taking — whether it’s an over-the-counter supplement, or medication from a doctor — should be done in consultation with the union prior to ingesting it. Players also have access to a hotline, which was established in the wake of the Mitchell report, to ask questions.

In other words there was no reason Ramirez shouldn’t have known the substance was banned IF it was prescribed legally.

Because of stupidity, the Dodgers will have to replace the slugger who has 6 homeruns and was batting .348 for the season, with a AAA minor league player. Los Angeles Dodger fans have good reason to be angry with the slugger, whether he intentionally broke the MLB substance rules or not.

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