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Howe Tests Positive ('99.9%') for Cocaine

July 16, 1986

Pitcher Steve Howe has tested positive for cocaine and will be asked to leave the San Jose Bees to seek medical help, according to Harry Steve, the team's president.

Steve said he was told the results showed a "99.9%" certainty of cocaine use. The test was checked twice by a technician at Laboratory Services, a San Jose firm, he said.

Howe was suspended in May because of a drug test supervised by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth's representatives. The Bees were informed that the test in May was positive for cocaine, but Howe denied using any drugs and won reinstatement last month when his lawyers negotiated a settlement with Ueberroth's office.

Steve, the Bees' president, said he planned to ask Howe to go on the retired list and re-enter a rehabilitation program.

California League President Joe Gagliardi said that he was suspending Howe as soon as he could complete the paper work.

Howe, former Dodger and Minnesota Twin reliever, said when reached at his Montana home by the Associated Press that he knew of no reason the test should have turned out positive.

"I'm pondering retirement right now," Howe said. "I really don't know what's going on."

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