Romero Suspended For 50 Games

Major League Baseball has suspended Phillies reliever J.C. Romero for the first 50 games of the season after he tested positive for a controlled substance.

J.C. Romero seems to have done some investigating before taking a supplement that he purchased at a GNC store late last season. Romero believed that since the substance was purchased over the counter it was okay to use, but he also reportedly checked with the Phillies training staff and with the players association and was told he could use the supplement.

Romero tested positive for a banned substance last August and again in September before he was told of the results by the players association. Romero immediately stopped taking the substance and was tested again just before the playoffs and that test came back negative. The case went to arbitration after the World Series and the ruling went against Romero. The players association has since informed players of the substance - which hasn't been publicly named - and that it can cause positive tests.

Romero believes the punishment is unfair because he had checked with various sources prior to taking the substance and because he bought it over the counter. Since an arbitrator has ruled on the case, there is no further avenue for an appeal by Romero. Barring any rainouts, Romero would be eligible to return to the Phillies on June 1 and will lose approximately $1.25 million dollars in salary that he would have earned during the suspension.

Major League Baseball allegedly told Romero that they would reduce the sentence to 25 games if he admitted his guilt, but he chose to fight the case with an arbitrator and MLB will now impose the maximum 50 game suspension.

The left-handed specialist played a key role for the Phillies last season and went 4-4 with a 2.75 ERA during the regular season and then tacked on two wins against Tampa Bay in the World Series.

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