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Pharmacy Hall Of Fame?

July 03, 2009|Mark Medina

Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez will be going through uncharted territory when he returns to the lineup today after serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. Phillies reliever J.C. Romero returned from his suspension June 3, but Ramirez is the first high-profile player to serve time under MLB's drug testing policy. Below is a look at six players who were publicly linked to performance-enhancing drugs, and how they fared afterward.

Barry Bonds

Position: LF

How it went down: In December 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Bonds testified before a BALCO grand jury in December 2003 that he used substances that he believed were an arthritis balm and flaxseed oil, but were actually an anabolic steroid and THG. In March 2006, the book "Game of Shadows" documented Bond's testimony and his use of performance-enhancing drugs while playing with the San Francisco Giants, including human growth hormone. Bonds has never apologized for or admitted such use, and was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on Nov. 15, 2007.

How he fared on the field: Bonds' next two seasons with the Giants entailed chasing the all-time home run record, first passing Babe Ruth's 714 on May 28, 2006, and then surpassing Hank Aaron's mark of 755 on Aug. 7, 2007. After batting at least .300 from 2000 to 2004, Bonds never reached that mark in his last three seasons of his career, including dropping from .362 in 2004 to .286 in 2005.

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Paul Lo Duca

Position: Catcher

How it went down: On Dec. 13, 2007, Lo Duca was cited in the Mitchell Report as a user of steroids and human growth hormone. He was also accused of referring former Dodgers teammates Eric Gagne and Kevin Brown to his drug supplier. Upon his arrival with the Washington Nationals on Feb. 17, 2008, Lo Duca issued a statement in which he apologized for "mistakes in judgment," but he did not say what those mistakes entailed.

How he fared on the field: Lo Duca started the 2008 season in Washington as the team's least productive batter, hitting .200 in 50 at-bats. He then fractured his right hand and went on the disabled list from early May to mid-June. The Nationals released him July 31, 2008, after he batted .230 with no home runs and 12 runs batted in in 139 at-bats. The Florida Marlins picked Lo Duca up in a minor league deal on Aug. 8 and he was called up eight days later, hitting .294 with three RBIs in 34 at-bats. He became a free agent after the season and remains unsigned.

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Andy Pettitte

Position: P

How it went down: On Dec. 13, 2007, Pettitte was cited in the Mitchell Report, which attributed a claim from trainer Brian McNamee that he injected Pettitte with human growth hormone while with the New York Yankees in 2002 to treat an elbow injury. Two days later, Pettitte acknowledged using HGH only to heal his elbow.

How he fared on the field: Pettitte had a 14-14 record and a 4.54 earned-run average with the Yankees in 2008, including going 2-7 with a 6.23 ERA in the last two months while suffering a sore left shoulder. This season, he is 8-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 97 1/3 innings.

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Alex Rodriguez

Position: 3B

How it went down: On Feb. 7, 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez appeared on the list of 104 anonymous players who tested positive in 2003 while with the Texas Rangers for using anabolic steroids, testosterone and Primobolan in Major League Baseball's survey testing. Two days later, Rodriguez admitted steroid use from 2001 until 2003, but that he stopped using after spring training that year.

How he fared on the field: Rodriguez missed spring training and the first month of this season with the Yankees after having arthroscopic hip surgery. After hitting .260 with seven home runs and 17 RBI in 77 at-bats, he batted .145 (eight for 55) with two homers and nine RBIs through June 19 before taking two days off. He finished the month batting .207. In the Yankees' latest seven-game winning streak, Rodriguez has batted .435 (10 for 23) with four home runs and 13 RBIs.

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Jason Giambi

Position: DH/1B

How it went down: In December 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Giambi told a BALCO grand jury that he injected himself with human growth hormone in 2003 while with the Yankees, and had used steroids as early as 2001 when he was the Oakland Athletics. Before the 2005 season, he apologized without providing the reason, but he admitted to USA Today two years later, "I was wrong for using that stuff." Commissioner Bud Selig then forced him to speak with George Mitchell as part of the Mitchell investigation.

How he fared on the field: Giambi's foot injury limited him in 2007 to 83 games, during which he hit .236 with 14 home runs and 39 RBIs. He started off the first month of 2008 season hitting below .200, but he finished with a batting average of .247 with 32 home runs and 96 RBIs. He's currently batting .199 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs with the Athletics.

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Eric Gagne

Position: P

How it went down: On Dec. 13, 2007, Gagne was cited in the Mitchell Report as a user of human growth hormone, which was obtained from Lo Duca while with the Dodgers. Gagne declined to meet with Sen. Mitchell about the charges before the report's release.

How he fared on the field: With the Milwaukee Brewers, Gagne finished 2008 with his worst full season in the major leagues, including 10 saves in 17 appearances, a 5.41 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 48 innings. After blowing five saves in his first 14 opportunities, Gagne, who once converted 84 consecutive saves with the Dodgers, lost the closer role.

-- Mark Medina

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