Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, coming off of a career season, was suspended 25 games today.
The All-Star catcher was said to have been using and amphetamine called Aderall, which is an energy booster, an agent used to mask steroid use. He will miss the first 25 games of the 2013 season.
Ruiz released a statement after the announcement:
“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a statement. “I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.”
This means Erik Kratz will start the season at catcher and prospects Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle could compete for the back up spot.
Ruiz will be allowed to participate in spring training games. Ruiz can also begin a rehab assignment five days before the end of his 25-game suspension. His target return date is April 28 against the New York Mets.
The Phillies released a statement:
“The Phillies fully support Major League Baseball’s Drug Program. We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program. We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013.”
In regards to the substance, Aderall, Matt Gelb writes:
Athletes have used Adderall as an energy boost. The drug has been blamed for a recent rash of NFL suspensions.
If an MLB-certified clinician diagnoses Ruiz with ADHD and prescribes him Adderall, Ruiz can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) with MLB’s independent program administrator. In 2011, Major League Baseball granted 105 TUEs — approximately nine percent of all players — for ADHD. That allowed those players to safely take Adderall and Ritalin. Such exemptions are generally more difficult to obtain following a positive test.
Two Phillies currently on the 40-man roster, Kevin Frandsen and Zach Collier, were suspended in the minors for using Ritalin and Adderall, respectively. Both have since sought TUEs for ADHD.