According to a report on ESPN.com by Peter Gammons, Major League Baseball has suspended Phillies reliever J.C. Romero for 50 games. According to Gammons, Romero, who was a major contributor to the Phillies championship bullpen, violated the league’s drug policy by being “negligent” and will be suspended for the first 50 games of the 2009 season.
Romero said on Monday that he bought a supplement from a GNC store in Cherry Hill, N.J., last July. The Players Association had told players the supplement was acceptable, but now the Philadelphia Phillies left-hander will receive a suspension and lose $1.25 million. “I still cannot see where I did something wrong,” Romero said. “There is nothing that should take away from the rings of my teammates. I didn’t cheat. I tried to follow the rules.”
Romero tested positive in August and September. As soon as he was informed he stopped the drug. “I immediately stopped taking all supplements, although I had no idea it was the cause of the positive test,” Romero said.
On October 1 Michael Weiner of the Players Association told Romero that the specific supplement was indeed the cause of the failed test and that because it was purchased over the counter in the U.S. he believed the case would be dropped.
That same day, Oct. 1, Romero was again tested. The results were negative. So for the NLDS, NLCS and World Series, the supplement was no longer in his system.
Gammons reports that the league will make an official announcement Tuesday afternoon.