*UPDATE: Yahoo reports it wasn’t Viagra, but another “sexual enhancement” drug:
LOS ANGELES – A source close to Manny Ramirez(notes) said Thursday that the illegal substance for which the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger tested positive was not “an agent customarily used for performance enhancing.”
At least not on the baseball diamond. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the substance is supposed to boost sex drive. It is not Viagra, but a substance that treats the cause rather providing a temporary boost in sexual performance, the source said.
Ramirez tested positive for the substance during spring training, then was administered a second test more recently, and it also was positive. Major League Baseball notified Ramirez of the second positive test after Wednesday night’s Dodgers victory over the Washington Nationals. Ramirez admitted to having taken the substance and declined to appeal. His 50-game suspension begins today.
“The substance is not a steroid and it is not human-growth hormone,” the source said.
Ramirez, the source said, acquired the substance through a prescription from a doctor in Miami for his medical condition. The source intimated that Ramirez might bring legal action against the physician.
LOS ANGELES — Major League Baseball will suspend Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez for 50 games for use of performance enhancing drugs, sources told MLB.com on Thursday.
Major League Baseball has not yet made an official announcement.
Ramirez, who turns 37 on May 30, would be eligible to return July 3 if the suspension starts with Thursday night’s Dodgers-Nationals game.
Ramirez — an 12-time All-Star who immediately became the face of the Dodgers franchise upon his acquisition last summer — is the biggest name player to be issued such a suspension under the MLB’s stringent drug policy that was adopted in 2006.
According to the drug policy, a player receives a 50-game suspension for a first positive drug test, a 100-game suspension for a second positive test and a lifetime ban for a third positive test. The suspensions are without pay.
Ramirez re-signed with the Dodgers as a free agent this spring to a two-year contract that was to pay him $25 million.
Ramirez has been a key component in leading the Dodgers to the best record in baseball this year. In 27 games, he is batting .348 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. He is among league leaders in slugging and on-base percentage and has become the biggest drawing card the Dodgers have had since Fernando Valenzuela, even recently having a portion of the left-field box seats rechristened “Mannywood.”