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Wed September 14, 2011
Rockies Catcher Eliezer Alfonzo Suspended 100 Games After Positive Test
The Colorado Rockies Eliezer Alfonzo is joining some ignominious company: Today Major League Baseball announced it was suspending the catcher for 100 games, after failing a drug test for the second time. Alfonzo tested positive for PED in 2008, when he was in the minor leagues.
Alfonzo joins disgraced slugger Manny Ramirez as the only other two-time offender. Ramirez retired in April from the Tampa Bay Rays rather than serve his suspension. Alfonzo, 32, plans to contest the latest findings.
Until recently, the Venezuelan native had been serving as the Rockies' backup catcher behind Chris Iannetta. However, he hasn't started since Sept. 4 because of the arrival of rookie Wilin Rosario.
A Rockies club official said Alfonzo has not been released. Alfonzo pinch hit in Tuesday's loss to the Brewers. He's batting .267 with one home run, a grand slam against the Padres on the night of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, in 25 games.
According to USA Today, Alfonzo issued a statement denying that he had taken any performance-enhacing drugs.
"I am surprised by this positive test," said Alfonzo. "I learned my lesson in 2008 and have not taken any prohibited substances since then. With the Union's help, I intend to fight this suspension and look forward to appearing before the arbitrator in the near future."