Friday, August 3, 2007
Tigers' Perez tests positive for stimulant for third time
DETROIT -- Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended for 80
games Friday after testing positive for a third time for a banned
stimulant, a penalty that finishes his season.
Perez was suspended for 25 games on July 6 when he tested
positive for a second time. Under baseball's labor contract, a
player who tests positive for the first time is sent for
Perez has been the only player suspended by baseball for
stimulants since they were banned before the 2006 season. His first
suspension had been set to end after Friday night's game against
the Chicago White Sox, but Tigers president Dave
Dombrowski wouldn't say whether Perez would have been restored to
the active roster absent the new positive test.
Under baseball's labor contract, a player cannot be disciplined
multiple times for a positive test stemming from the same use of a
banned substance, meaning Perez had to take a prohibited stimulant
more than once.
Another positive test would lead to a suspension to be
determined at the discretion of commissioner Bud Selig, with Perez
having the right to have an arbitrator review the penalty.
His initial suspension cost him $396,175, and the second will
cost him $792,350 -- a total of $1,188,525 of his $2.5 million
salary. He will miss the final 54 games of the regular season and
finish serving the suspension next year, if he is signed.
Because of his initial positive test, Perez is subject to at
least six additional tests over the next year.
The 34-year-old Perez is hitting .172 with one homer and six
RBIs in 64 at-bats for the defending AL champions. His biggest
contribution was when he started a spectacular double play to end
the eighth inning of Justin Verlander's no-hitter.
Perez won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2000 with Colorado and also has played for Kansas City, San Francisco and the Cubs.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland and Tigers shortstop Carlos Guillen
wouldn't discuss Perez before Friday night's game, and Perez's
agent, Adam Katz, also declined comment. Dombrowski said Perez had
been in Detroit but wasn't sure if he remained in town.
Tampa Bay pitcher Juan Salas has been the only other player
suspended this year under the major league testing program, a
50-game penalty announced May 7 following a positive test for a
banned performance-enhancing substance. Twenty players have been
suspended this year under baseball's minor league program.