Ramirez’s test raised red flags in spring training
LOS ANGELES – Manny Ramirez(notes) tested in spring training for elevated levels of testosterone, leading to an MLB investigation that uncovered evidence he had been prescribed a banned substance designed to enhance female fertility, according to a source with knowledge of the process.
The paper evidence, which MLB traced from Ramirez to a physician, was enough to suspend Ramirez for 50 games. Later, urine samples confirmed the presence of gonadotropin, or HCG. The suspension is actually considered nonanalytical, despite the positive test, because the evidence led to further, just-cause testing.
Although Ramirez was a free agent and missed most of spring training, he, like all free agents, remained in the pool of players who may be tested in the offseason. If a player reports after his team submits to standard spring testing, the agent returns to test that player, which is how Ramirez’s testosterone levels were found to be abnormal.