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Ronald Belisario suspended for 25 games [UPDATED]

December 20, 2011 |  9:32 pm

Ron5Reliever Ronald Belisario has received a visa valid for the next five years and is expected to be in Arizona for the start of spring training, but he won’t be on the Dodgers’ opening-day roster.

Belisario must serve a 25-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke under the condition of anonymity.

The person did not say exactly how Belisario violated the policy. But according to the policy, a player can draw a 25-game suspension for only a few reasons:

1. A player is involved or suspected of being involved in with a drug of abuse, ordered to take part in a treatment program, and fails to comply.

2. A player tests positive for a stimulant.

3. A player is convicted or pleads guilty to using or possessing a prohibited substance that is considered a drug of abuse.

Belisario, who missed all of last season because of visa problems, left the Dodgers for more than a month during the 2010 season to receive treatment in a substance-abuse program.

[UPDATED, 7:14 a.m. Wednesday: The suspension falls under the "drug of abuse" standard rather than a "stimulant" standard, according to a person familiar with the matter.]

In 2009, the hard-throwing Venezuelan was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He  pleaded to a lesser charge.


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-- Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin

Photo: Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times