Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz will be suspended for the first 25 games of the 2013 Major League Baseball season because of amphetamine use.
The office of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, which announced the suspension yesterday, said Ruiz will be allowed to participate in spring training drills and exhibition games before the season.
“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association. “I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, based on two people within MLB who were not identified, that Ruiz tested positive for Adderall and that the suspension was triggered by his second positive test for that stimulant.
The newspaper also said the Phillies exercised a $5 million option for the 2013 season on the catcher last month, and that the suspension will cost Ruiz about $750,000 in lost salary.
“We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program,” Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement released by the team. “We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner.”
Adderall, a stimulant used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is used by athletes as an energy booster. Its use has led to several recent suspensions in the National Football League, including New York Giants safeties Will Hill and Tyler Sash.
Under MLB’s drug-testing program, Ruiz was subject to six unannounced follow-up tests over the 12 months after his original violation, in addition to standard random testing. Ruiz would be suspended 80 games for a third positive test.
Ruiz, 33, has been the Phillies’ starting catcher since 2007 and made the All-Star team for the first time in 2012. He hit .325 with 16 home runs and 68 runs batted in last season, all career highs.
In 2010, he caught a perfect game by Roy Halladay in May and a no-hitter by Halladay in the playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the first major leaguer in 59 years to catch two no-hitters by the same pitcher during one season. The previous player to do that was Yogi Berra of the New York Yankees, who caught two no-hitters by Allie Reynolds in 1951.
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