DUANE BURLESON / AP Enlarge
DETROIT Detroit Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended for 80 games yesterday after testing positive for a third time for a banned stimulant, a penalty that finishes his season.
Perez was suspended for 25 games on July 6 when he tested positive for a second time. Under baseball s labor contract, a player who tests positive for the first time is sent for counseling.
Perez has been the only player suspended by baseball for stimulants since they were banned before the 2006 season. His first suspension had been set to end after last night s game against the Chicago White Sox.
Under baseball s labor contract, a player cannot be disciplined multiple times for a positive test stemming from the same use of a banned substance, meaning Perez had to take a prohibited stimulant more than once.
Another positive test would lead to a suspension to be determined at the discretion of commissioner Bud Selig, with Perez having the right to have an arbitrator review the penalty.
His initial suspension cost him $396,175, and the second will cost him $792,350 a total of $1,188,525 of his $2.5 million salary. He will miss the final 54 games of the regular season and finish serving the suspension next year, if he is signed.
Because of his initial positive test, Perez is subject to at least six additional tests over the next year.
The 34-year-old Perez is hitting .172 with one homer and six RBIs in 64 at-bats.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland and Tigers shortstop Carlos Guillen wouldn t discuss Perez before last night s game, and Perez s agent, Adam Katz, also declined comment.
Perez won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2000 with the Colorado Rockies and also has played for Kansas City, San Francisco and Chicago.
Tampa Bay pitcher Juan Salas has been the only other player suspended this year under the major league testing program, a 50-game penalty announced May 7 following a positive test for a banned performance-enhancing substance. Twenty minor league players have been suspended this year.