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Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Judge holds Caminiti's fate after drug test

Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Former NL Most Valuable Player Ken Caminiti has failed four drug tests since going on probation in 2002 for possession of cocaine, including one last week that landed him in jail, his probation officer said Tuesday.

Caminiti remained in the Harris County jail Tuesday after his private meeting with probation officer Tracy Burns. She has handled his case since he was sentenced to three years' deferred adjudication probation after his 2001 arrest in a Houston motel room.

Caminiti, who played for the Houston Astros twice over a 15-year career and lives in Houston, will apply for a bond Wednesday so he can be free until an Oct. 5 hearing, attorney James Kennedy said.

"At this point, we're kind of in a holding pattern," Kennedy said.

Caminiti flunked a random urine test last week, Burns said. State District Judge Bill Harmon authorized an arrest warrant and Caminiti was picked up Friday.

With deferred adjudication, Caminiti had the chance to erase the guilty plea from his record if he stayed clean. Now, he could face more outpatient treatment, enrollment in a private facility, another stint in state-funded therapy or six months to two years in the prison system.

Burns indicated she was leaning toward recommending inpatient treatment.

"He does want treatment," Burns said. "Judge Harmon always has been amenable to giving people treatment for substance abuse problems."

Caminiti acknowledged during his playing days he had been an alcoholic. He told a magazine he was using performance-enhancing drugs when he won the 1996 MVP award as a member of the San Diego Padres.

Besides the Astros and Padres, he also split time between the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves in 2001, his final year in baseball. His drug arrest came shortly after the season ended.

"Drugs don't discriminate," Burns said. "He just happens to be an ex-baseball player. Other people have lost their careers and families. He just happened to be on a larger scale."