Outfielder Marlon Byrd, who admitted to working with the person whose center caused a federal investigation of steroids use and distribution among athletes, has came up positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The league commented that the free agent has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Tamoxifen. He will be put on the restricted list and will remain there till August 20. Las Vegas odds
Byrd issued a declaration through the MLB Players Association.
“I made an inexcusable mistake,” the declaration said. “Many years back, I had surgery for a condition that was non-public and not related to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a reoccurrence of that condition and I was given a medication that ended in my positive test. Though that medication is on the forbidden list, I absolutely did not use it for performance-enhancement reasons.
Byrd started the season with the Cubs and was dealt to the Red Sox on April 21. He was delegated for assignment by Boston on June 9 and released four days later.
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was asked if Byrd had failed any drug tests while with Boston. He said: “Not to my knowledge.”
Red Sox executive Bobby Valentine was surprised as well.
“He played here and he played well,” Valentine said. “I had no indication or I don’t think anyone did.”
While with the Cubs in spring coaching, Byrd admitted that he was the sole player in baseball who still worked with Victor Conte. Conte’s Bay Area Lab Cooperative was at the centre of the steroid black mark surrounding Barry Bonds, amongst others.
Byrd, however, maintained that he wasn’t breaking any rules. He probably did say that commissioner Bud Selig had asked him to sever ties with Conte.
“[The pressure from MLB] does bother me sometimes,” Byrd claimed in spring training. “But I think there should be stress on everybody.
“I’m always going to observe what I’m taking. I’m not going to point out I have got a bull’s-eye on my back, but I suspect plenty of folks are waiting for me to get my 1st positive test and miss 50 games. They’d like that simply so they can say, ‘We told you so.’ I know that won’t occur. I know I am clean. I know the supplements I’m taking are clean. I’m going to make sure of that.”
Byrd is a career .278 hitter with 82 homers and 445 RBIs over 11 seasons with the Phillies, Nationals, Rangers, Cubs and Red Sox.
He hit .210 in 47 games with the 2 teams this year, though he hit .270 with a homer and 7 RBIs in 34 games with Boston. The Red Sox picked him up when they had a lack in the outfield after a rash of injuries.
“It’s just unlucky that it’s another notch in baseball’s belt as far as the drug policy and steroids have to do with the game” Cubs chief Dale Sveum related. “It’s unfortunate those things keep happening.”
Byrd finished 4th in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2003 with the Phillies and was a NL All-Star with the Cubs in 2010.