Report: Test results suggest Manny used steroids

BY foxsports • May 16, 2009

Manny Ramirez's contention that a prescription drug led to his failed drug test took another hit Friday in the wake of a report from the Los Angeles Times.

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According to the newspaper, which cited three unidentified sources, there was no trace of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) found in Ramirez's test. Instead, the drug test revealed a synthetic testosterone level more than four times that of the average male.

Since a suspension would have happened only if the report showed a banned substance, anti-doping experts said the absence of HCG, coupled with the league's action, indicates that Ramirez used steroids.

The paper, however, did not quote any anti-doping experts making that claim.

The paper said baseball officials had begun the disciplinary process for a positive drug test when they obtained his medical records that contained a prescription for HCG. That led to a suspension for just cause because Ramirez had not sought a "therapeutic use" exemption.

Once MLB had the prescription, Ramirez dropped the appeal and was suspended.

At the time his suspension was announced, Ramirez said in a statement that his doctor, "gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me."

Attempts to reach Ramirez were unsuccessful, and the paper said the Dodgers referred all questions to MLB.

Dr. Glenn Braunstein, an expert in reproductive endocrinology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said HCG elevates testosterone production but typically not to the level that apparently turned up in Ramirez's test results.

In related news, Ramirez apologized to his Dodger teammates on Friday, meeting with them for the first time since his suspension.

The "five- to 10-minute" meeting took place at the team's waterfront hotel in South Florida before the Dodgers arrived at the Florida Marlins' stadium to start a three-game weekend series, Los Angeles third baseman Casey Blake said.

"He knows he made a mistake. I forgive him," Blake said. "It's his business.

"I don't think anyone was really looking for" an apology, Blake said. "It was something he wanted to do and I think it was heartfelt."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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