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Thursday, April 7, 2005
Sanchez will lose $32,787

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay outfielder Alex Sanchez won't appeal his 10-day suspension for violating baseball's steroids policy.

 Alex Sanchez

Sanchez, the first player penalized under the tougher rules put in place last month, made his decision Thursday, four days after he was suspended by commissioner Bud Selig.

"As Alex has explained, he did not knowingly take any banned substance," said Michael Weiner, general counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association. "We respect Alex's decision to forgo an appeal, and he has our full support."

Sanchez's suspension began Monday, when Tampa Bay played Toronto in its season opener. Because suspensions for violating baseball's rules on performance-enhancing drugs are without pay, Sanchez will lose $32,787 of his $600,000 salary.

After the commissioner's office announced the suspension Sunday, Sanchez said he was innocent.

"I'm going to fight it, because I've never taken steroids or anything like that. ... I never take any steroids because I don't need them," he said.

Several substances that previously were available over the counter were made prescription drugs as of Jan. 15 under federal legislation and were added to baseball's banned list. Because of that, it is possible Sanchez tested positive for a substance that he purchased legally before Jan. 15.

Under baseball's drug rules, the sport doesn't announce the specific substance a player tested positive for.

Thirty-eight players were suspended Monday for violating baseball's minor league drug policy. In addition, Pittsburgh announced Wednesday that three of its minor leaguers are being suspended under the drug rules.