Phillies All-Star catcher Carlos Ruiz tested positive for an amphetamine and will serve a 25-game suspension to start next season, according to Major League Baseball.
Details of the specific stimulant "Chooch" -- who is arguably the Phillies most popular position player -- allegedly took wasn’t immediately made available by MLB. But, Philly.com reported that a league source said Ruiz had failed a test for the stimulant Adderall -- a drug commonly used to control ADHD.
Per MLB’s substance abuse standards, Chooch won’t be paid during his suspension. He can't make his season debut until April 28 against the Mets at the earliest, but can participate in spring training.
The Phillies were "disappointed" that Ruiz had failed a drug test.
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"The Phillies fully support Major League Baseball’s Drug Program," said General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. in a statement. "We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program. We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013."
The catcher himself regretted taking the stimulant:
"I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant," Ruiz said in a statement released by the MLB Players Association. "I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013."
Ruiz, 33, broke out for the Phillies last season batting .350 with a .412 on-base percentage and .584 slugging percentage with 13 homers and 46 RBIs at the All-Star Break. He was slowed by a foot injury in the second half but still finished the season with career highs in average (.325), slugging (.540), hits (121), doubles (32), homers (16), RBIs (68) and runs (56).
Chooch's career year in 2012 earned him that first All-Star berth, but don't expect him in the 2013 Mid-Summer Classic. MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program was amended last season to include All-Star Game bans for any player failing a drug test from the end of the previous season through the All-Star Break.