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Manny Ramirez retires after being notified of an issue under MLB's drug policy

April 8, 2011 |  1:44 pm

Manny_620 Manny Ramirez, a former Dodger who started the season with the Tampa Bay Rays, is retiring after being notified of an issue under Major League Baseball's drug policy.

The commissioner's office issued a statement Friday afternoon that said Ramirez decided to retire rather than go through MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Ramirez tested positive for a drug, the name of which has not yet been revealed.

(3:36 p.m. Update: Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drug).

“Rather than continue with the process under the program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player,” the league said in a statement. “If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the drug program will be completed.”

The 38-year-old Ramirez, who was one-for-17 with the Tampa Bay Rays this season, made his name with the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. He was being booed by fans in Tampa because of his slow start this season. The 12-time All-Star agreed to a $2-million, one-year contract with the Rays in the off-season. 

“The Tampa Bay Rays were informed today by the Commissioner's Office that Manny Ramirez has decided to retire after being informed of an issue under the Drug Program,” the Rays said in a statement. “We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter, and our fans and organization will carry on.”

Ramirez, who was suspended for 50 games for violating the MLB drug policy while with the Dodgers, would have faced a 100-game suspension if he had not retired.

We will have more on this developing story as it happens on latimes.com/sports.

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--Houston Mitchell

Photo: Manny Ramirez. Credit: Kim Klement / U.S. Presswire.

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