The Tampa Bay Rays’ Manny Ramirez announced his retirement Friday, according to a statement from Major League Baseball.
The New York Times reported on its website that Ramirez retired rather than face a 100-game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drug use. He failed the test during spring training and had recently been informed of the results.
The baseball commissioner’s office informed Ramirez of “an issue” under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. The 38-year-old designated hitter went through a 50-game suspension in 2009 for a violation of the drug policy.
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It was unclear what “issue” the league was speaking of specifically, but in a statement said: “If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed. MLB will not have any further comment on this matter.”
This season with the Rays was Ramirez first since signing on as a free agent. He went 1-for-17 this season and has had 555 home runs over his nearly two-decade career with a .312 average and 1,831 RBI’s.
The Rays also released a statement saying only: “We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter, and our fans and organization will carry on.”
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