Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz drew a 25-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Tuesday for a violation of its drug prevention and treatment program.
Ruiz was penalized for testing positive for an amphetamine of undisclosed origin. The suspension is effective at the start of the 2013 regular season, and will allow Ruiz to participate in all spring training activities.
"I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant. I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans," Ruiz said in a statement issued shortly after the announcement. "I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013."
The 33-year-old Panamanian backstop enjoyed a career year for an injury- plagued Phillies club, hitting .325 with 16 home runs, 32 doubles and 68 RBI over 114 games and earning his first career All-Star selection.
Ruiz did miss time with an oblique strain and was also on the sidelines due to plantar fasciitis, which landed him on the disabled list and caused him to miss most of August and part of September.
"The Phillies fully support Major League Baseball's Drug Program. We are disappointed by the news of this violation of the program," said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. "We will support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013."