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Alfonzo suspended for 2nd positive test

NEW YORK (AP) — Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo become the first player suspended twice for performance-enhancing drugs under the Major League Baseball testing program when the commissioner’s office announced a 100-game penalty Wednesday.

Colorado Rockies’ Eliezer Alfonzo

Alfonzo, a 32-year-old backup in his sixth big league season, was suspended for 50 games in April 2008 while a member of the San Francisco Giants.

“I am surprised by this positive test,” he said in a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association. “I learned my lesson in 2008 and have not taken any prohibited substances since then. With the union’s help, I intend to fight this suspension and look forward to appearing before the arbitrator in the near future.”

Under the major league drug agreement, first offenses are arbitrated before any public announcement — but additional offenses are litigated after a suspension is announced.

Manny Ramirez retired in April rather than face a 100-game suspension following a second positive test.

Baseball began testing with penalties in 2004. Under the current rules, a third violation would carry a lifetime ban.

Alfonzo is hitting .267 this season with one homer and nine RBIs in 75 at-bats. He has a .240 career average with 17 homers during a career that also included stints with San Diego and Seattle.

After the suspension three years ago, Alfonzo said he never knowingly took steroids but did take medicine for bronchitis while home in Venezuela.



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