Top 2010 pick Sale suspended 50 games, claims didn't take banned substance
UPDATE, 7:04: Sale, in a statement issued through his agent, claimed he did nothing wrong and would have appealed but couldn't gather enough evidence.
“I believe my suspension is unwarranted and that I did not take any banned substance. I pursued an appeal of this suspension but unfortunately was unable to uncover enough evidence of my innocence to proceed in good faith. Therefore, out of respect for the game and for the drug-testing program, I will cease all further efforts related to my appeal and will serve the suspension.
“So now I will do everything I can to regain the trust of the Rays’ organization and their fans. I look forward to returning to the field next season in pursuit of my dream of becoming a major-league baseball player.”
Meanwhile, Bowling Green team president Brad Taylor issued this statement:
“The same as the other three players, we fully support the decision of Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays to suspend the offending player. While we are disappointed that the players made the decision to break the rules, we are proud to be partners with organizations that have systems in place that are working to keep our game clean. We hope the players will learn from their mistakes and return from their suspensions on the right track towards a successful career.”
BREAKING: OF/DH Josh Sale, the Rays top 2010 draft pick, has been suspended 50 games for PED use, MLB announced.
Sale, who played at Class A Bowling Green, was suspended after testing positive for "methamphetamine and amphetamine." Three other players from the Bowling Green team were suspended last week for the same reason.
The release from MLB:
Tampa Bay Rays Minor League outfielder Joshua Sale has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methamphetamine and an Amphetamine. The suspension of Sale, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League, is effective immediately.
Last week, 2B Ryan Brett, P Charles Cononie and P Justin Woodall also were suspended. Brett, in an email from his agent, claimed his positive test was the result of one-time use of an Adderall pill that he thought was an energy pill.
After missing the 2010 season because he didn't sign until the deadline and then struggling mightily in 2011, Sale had showed improvement this season, hitting .264 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 74 games for the Hot Rods.