Volquez is currently recovering from the Tommy John surgery he had last August, but sources tell Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports that the Reds pitcher will not claim he took a banned substance to help shorten his recovery time. He has reportedly told others that he was taking the substance in question for a personal issue related to his ability to reproduce.
UPDATE: Volquez confirms Tim Brown's reporting in a statement that was just released.
"Prior to the conclusion of last season, my wife and I sought medical advice in Cincinnati with the hope of starting a family. As part of my consultation with the physician, I received certain prescribed medications to treat my condition. As a follow up to our original consultation, my wife and I visited another physician in our home city in the Dominican Republic this past off-season. This physician also gave me certain prescribed medications as part of my treatment. Unfortunately, I now know that the medication the physician in the Dominican gave me is one that is often used to treat my condition, but is also a banned substance under Major League Baseball's drug policy. As a result, I tested positive when I reported to spring training.
Although I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and have chosen not to challenge my suspension, I want to assure everyone that this was an isolated incident involving my genuine effort to treat a common medical issue and start a family. I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career. I am embarrassed by this whole situation and apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Reds Organization for being a distraction and for causing them any difficulty. I simply want to accept the consequences, learn from the mistake, and continue to strive to be the best person and baseball player I can be."
Though Volquez's name isn't as big as some might have imagined, the suspension of the Reds righthander still puts him on the list of the highest-profile players to be suspended. Manny Ramirez(notes), J.C. Romero(notes), Guillermo Mota(notes), Jason Grimsley(notes) and Neifi Perez(notes) are the only other big leaguers to be hit with suspensions of 50 games or longer since the penalties for positive tests were increased in 2006.
Volquez will likely draw his share of criticism for the positive test and skepticism over his reason given, but early signs show that MLB might bear a larger amount of scorn. Volquez's suspension is effective immediately and considering that he was expected to be on the DL through at least July, it doesn't really seem like it qualifies as a suspension at all. (Volquez will lose 50 games of salary, a total which ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports to be around $137,000.)
Tim Brown of Y! Sports contributed to this post.