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New York Times: Ramirez sought exemption for drug

Posted on: June 17, 2010 6:35 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 8:16 pm
 
Manny Ramirez Near the time Manny Ramirez was suspended in 2009 for violating MLB's drug program, his representatives informed baseball that they were going to file a request to use a banned banned fertility drug to boost testosterone levels, the New York Times reports .

While Ramirez and his agent, Scott Boras, never filed a request, they considered doing so again in September after Ramirez served his suspension, the Times adds -- but they never did so.

The second time was when Ramirez was struggling at the plate for the Dodgers who were in a race to win the division. The Times says that Dodgers personnel, including general manager Ned Colletti, discussed how Ramirez could be helped and whether or not he would qualify for an exemption for a tesosterone-boosting drug.

That's certainly a damning statement.

Ramirez, along with Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch, declined to comment on the story. The information is based on three anonymous sources in baseball.

Medical exemptions pose a problem in sports, as the leagues must balance actual need with the possibility the drugs act as a way to use performance-enhancing drugs with no backlash. Baseball is especially sensitive to the issue after Congress called MLB out in 2008 for allowing players to be granted medical exemptions and use amphetamines. Following the banning of amphetamines, the number of exemptions jumped from 26 to 103. The exemptions have not gone down since the Congress chatising, but growth is limited.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was banned earlier in the 2010 season for using a fertility drug as well. He claims he was using the drug to try to start a family with his wife. He is currently serving the suspension despite being on the 60-day disabled list after Tommy John surgery, a loophole that will likely be closed down the road.

RELATED: Manager Joe Torre said that Manny Ramirez will not play the field in his return to Fenway Park on Friday. Ramirez played left field for the Red Sox from 2001 to July, 2007 before being traded.

UPDATE: The Dodgers deny the report to ESPNLosAngeles.com .

"The Dodgers did not look into any therapeutic use exemptions for Manny Ramirez," Dodgers' spokesman Josh Rawitch told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "We decline any further comment."

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


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