Nelson Cruz has informed the Texas Rangers he will accept a 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Cruz is among the multiple Major League Baseball players linked to Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic based out of Florida that is now closed. The clinic is accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
Cruz said Monday a stomach bug is the reason he sought treatment from the clinic.
"From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds," Cruz said in a statement.
Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse," Cruz said.
The Rangers also issued a brief statement on Cruz's suspension.
"The Texas Rangers are disappointed that Nelson Cruz has violated the terms of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program resulting in his suspension," the club said in a statement. "The Rangers' organization fully supports the MLB program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement, the Rangers will have no further comment."
Cruz, according to a January story in the Miami New Times, allegedly spent at least $4,000 on banned substances.
The outfielder could return for the postseason, but will have to sit out for the remainder of the 2013 regular season. Cruz is in the final year of his current contract with the Rangers and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
In a teleconference, General Manager Jon Daniels said the team is still open to playing Cruz if the Rangers make the playoffs.
"It goes without saying we're not going to replace Nelson's production with any one player," Daniels said.
The Rangers are currently two and a half games out of first place in the American League West, behind the Oakland Athletics.
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