(NEW YORK) — Major League Baseball announced Monday it had suspended free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Byrd tested positive for the drug tamoxifen, which is used to treat breast cancer. It has been banned by baseball because it can reduce the side effects of steroid use. The 33-year-old has been placed on the restricted list until August 20.
“I made an inexcusable mistake,” Byrd said in the statement released by baseball’s players’ union. “Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons.”
Byrd admitted in spring training that he was the only baseball player still working with Victor Conte. Conte and his Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) were involved in the Barry Bonds steroid scandal.
The Chicago Cubs traded Byrd to the Red Sox on April 21 and the Sox released him June 12. He hit .210 with one home run and nine RBIs this season.
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Seth Fiegerman, CNN