Slugger Manny Ramirez Announces Retirement After 'Issue' With Drug Policy

Tampa Bay Rays slugger Manny Ramirez is retiring from baseball, after being notified that he had go through a drug prevention and treatment program.

Major League Baseball announced his retirement in a short statement with little detail. The statement via ESPN:

"Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the statement said. "Rather than continue with the process under the Program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed. MLB will not have any further comment on this matter."

The statement did not say whether Ramirez tested positive for a banned substance. He has previously served a 50-game suspension for violating the drug policy while he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The St. Petersburg Times reports that his team, the Rays, seem to have been caught off guard by the news and were "scrambling to get another player to Chicago for tonight's game:"

The Rays are recalling first baseman Casey Kotchman to take Ramirez's spot on the roster and hoping he'll arrive by gametime.

In a statement, the Rays said: "The Tampa Bay Rays were informed today by the Commissioner's Office that Manny Ramirez has decided to retire after being informed of an issue under the Drug Program. We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news. We will have no further comment on this matter, and our fans and organization will carry on.

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