MLB today suspended Rafael Betancourt 10 days for testing positive for a banned substance. Unfortunately, we don’t know what exactly this banned substance is. Betancourt’s suspension takes effect immediately, which does happed to coincide with his time on the disabled list (although the club could have called up a replacement anyway). Betancourt is the third major-league player to test positive for banned substances under MLB’s new drug policy. It is kind of interesting that two of the three are relievers (Juan Rincon and Betancourt), and the third is nowhere near what you’d call a power hitter (Alex Sanchez).
The Indians’ response was one tinged with disappointment. The statement by Shapiro reads as follows:
Earlier today, Major League Baseball announced that RHP RAFAEL BETANCOURT tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance under the guidelines of Major League Baseball’s Drug Testing Program. Rafael, who is on the disabled list, is suspended immediately for 10 days.
The Cleveland Indians strongly support Major League Baseball’s testing program for performance-enhancing drugs. In addition to this support, we continue to implement an aggressive educational program at the Major and Minor League levels. We want our players to be aware of the short and long-term dangers of these substances. Until Rafael decides how he will address this finding, we will have no further comment on his situation.
Reading between the lines, it looks like Shapiro is really ticked off at Betancourt, something to keep in mind this offseason.