Kansas Royals' Miguel Tejada suspended for 105 games for doping
Kansas City Royals infielder was caught after failing to gain approval for takinga drug to treat attention deficit disorder
The scourge of drugs and baseball claimed its third former MVP in a month when Miguel Tejada was suspended for 105 games after testing positive for an amphetamine.
The Kansas City Royals infielder drew one of the longest penalties handed down by Major League Baseball. His ban came after Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games and Brewers star Ryan Braun got a 65-game penalty that will keep him off the field for the rest of the season.
All three stars have been dogged by doping allegations in the past.
A person familiar with the situation said Tejada had tested positive for adderall, a substance the 39-year-old has used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD). "I apologise to my teammates, the Royals organisation and to the Kansas City fans," Tejada said. "I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. I took that medication while re-applying for a therapeutic use exemption. Under the requirements of the joint drug programme, I made a mistake in doing so."
MLB's medical staff grants therapeutic-use exemptions that allow players to use drugs such as adderall to treat ADD. But the substance has become a popular performance-enhancer, accounting for 10 of the 11 positive stimulant tests in the major league programme in the year ending with the 2012 World Series, according to the annual report of the Independent Programme Administrator.
The report, which was released in November, said medication for ADD accounted for 116 of 119 therapeutic-use exemptions granted by Major League Baseball.
Tejada previously tested positive under the league's amphetamine policy. That subjected him to a 25-game ban for a second test and an 80-game suspension for a third. He is not challenging the penalties.
Tejada's name was mentioned in the 2007 report by former US Senator George Mitchell on the use of performanceenhancing drugs in baseball. Two years later he was fined and given probation for lying to a US Congress investigation into drugs in the sport.
Tejada, a six-time All-Star and 2002 American League MVP, will miss the remainder of this season, which exhausts his contract with Kansas City. If he signs for next season, he would miss about two months before becoming eligible to play.
"It doesn't matter if you're MVP or king of the world. If you're going to do things that are illegal, you're going to get caught for it and you're going to get suspended," Royals pitcher James Shields said. "It's a shame because I really like him a lot as a teammate."
Tejada's suspension is one of the longest non-lifetime bans in baseball history. Along with Rodriguez's suspension, Pascual Perez was banned for the 1992 season for a positive cocaine test and Dwight Gooden barred for the 1995 season for violating his drug after-care programme.
Rodriguez and Braun received their penalties for their connection to the Biogenesis clinic in Florida that has been accused of dispensing banned drugs.