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Manny Ramirez Suspended 50 Games by MLB

AFRO.com, News Report, Perry Green Posted: May 08, 2009

MLB superstar Manny Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance, as reported by the Associated Press.

Although the substance he tested positive for have not yet been reported, Ramirez has denied any use of steroids.

Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue," Ramirez said in a written statement. 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.

The 12-time All Star also mentioned that he has passed 15 drug tests throughout the last five seasons.

Ramirezs agent, Scott Boras, was not available for comment at press time.

Ramirez, who recently signed a two-year, $45 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, will lose out on nearly $10 million dollars due to the suspension.

He now joins Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire as baseball legends linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Ramirez is the second star to fail a drug test under the leagues current testing program, which was introduced in 2004. Former Baltimore Orioles star Rafael Palmeiro was the first high-profile player to fail a drug test and retired shortly after in 2005.

The 36-year-old slugger is easily one of the best performers in professional baseball today. He has 533 career home runs, a career batting average of .300 and won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox. He led the American League in home runs (43) during the 2004 season.

In 2003, anonymous drug test surveys were issued throughout the league, and results showed that more than 5 percent of players were using performance enhancers. Although federal agents seized the results for further investigation, the identities of those players were kept secret with exception of Rodriguez, currently of the New York Yankees.

After Rodriguezs name was leaked, former baseball star and confessed steroid user Jose Canseco told the Los Angeles Times that Ramirezs name was most likely, 90 percent on the list, too. He had no comment in response to Cansecos allegation.

After serving his suspension, Ramirez could see action as soon as early July.

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