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Report: Ramirez's positive drug test caused by testosterone

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The Associated Press
11/30/2012 6:49:31 PM
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NEW YORK -- The substance that caused Manny Ramirez to test positive for a banned substance last year was testosterone, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The administrator of baseball's drug program issued his annual report on Friday. The document lists the substances that resulted in seven positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs that led to discipline.

Six players were suspended earlier this year for taking prohibited substances and, in each case, the substance that triggered the positive test was announced under a change to baseball's drug agreement.

However, one positive test was unaccounted for and it came from Ramirez, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because that detail wasn't included in the report.

Ramirez, then playing for Tampa Bay, at first retired in April 2011 rather than face a 100-game suspension for his second failed drug test. He changed his mind last December -- after the Independent Program Administrator's 2011 report -- and an agreement was reached that suspended him for 50 games rather than 100 because he sat out nearly all of the 2011 season. The failed testosterone test was then included in the 2012 figures.

After signing a minor league contract with Oakland this year, Ramirez asked to be released in mid-June without reaching the majors.

Ramirez, 14th on the career list with 555 home runs, was suspended for 50 games in 2009 while playing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While the substance causing that suspension was not announced, at the time a person familiar with the details said Ramirez used the female fertility drug HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. The substance stimulates natural testosterone production, which shuts down during a cycle of steroids use.

Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal also tested positive for testosterone in 2012. The other PED positives came up in tests from Guillermo Mota (Clenbuterol), Marlon Byrd (Tamoxifen) and Freddy Galvis (Clostebol). All were given 50-game suspensions.

Ryan Braun's test, which was overturned in a grievance, was not included because it did not lead to discipline.

There were 11 positive tests for banned stimulants, two of which led to 25-game suspensions for Carlos and Ryan Adams. The other nine were for initial positive tests, which result in follow-up testing but not suspensions.

Ten of the stimulant positives were caused by Adderall and the other by amphetamine.

The report showed MLB granted 116 therapeutic use exemptions to treat attention deficit disorder in the past year, up 11 from last year and the most since the sport started releasing statistics in 2008. There were 25 new TUEs, down from 28 in 2011, and 91 holdovers. The exact substances allowed under the TUEs are not specified.

ADHD drugs were the overwhelming majority of the 119 exemptions granted, according to Friday's annual report by Dr. Jeffrey M. Anderson, baseball's new IPA. There were two for hypertension and one for hypogonadism.

Dr. Gary Wadler, former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency's committee that considers which substances should be banned, has for several years criticized baseball for its total of ADHD exemptions. The sport says its experts maintain the condition is more frequent in young adult males than among the general population.

Anderson, who replaced Dr. Bryan Smith, said there were 1,181 blood tests in baseball's first year of checks for human growth hormone. No positives were reported. There also were 3,955 urine tests for drugs, an increase of 87 tests.

Baseball does not break out how many of the tests were during the off-season.

Each player was given a blood test for HGH during spring training as part of the labour contract that was agreed to a year ago, which allows blood testing during the off-season and spring training, and if there is reasonable cause. Players and management are discussing whether to expand HGH testing.

Manny Ramirez (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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