Just two weeks after getting his three-thousandth career hit, Rafael Palmeiro of the Baltimore Orioles has been suspended ten days for violating Major League Baseball's steroids policy.
It was nearly five months ago that Palmeiro told Congress he had never used steroids.
In remarks prepared for a conference call Monday, Palmeiro said he had accepted his punishment and could not explain how the steroids got into his body.
"I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period," he said. "Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program."
A grievance filed by the players' union against the suspension was denied.
Palmeiro played for the Rangers from 1989-1993 and 1999-2003, and two weeks ago he joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players with three-thousand hits and 500 home runs.
Palmeiro, 40, is the seventh, and certainly the highest-profile player, to test positive under the major league policy adopted earlier this year.
For Baltimore this season, Palmeiro has a 280 average with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs.
Players suspended for 10 days in 2005 for violating major league baseball's drug program:
April 3 - OF Alex Sanchez, Tampa Bay
April 11 - OF Jorge Piedra, Colorado
April 20 - RHP Agustin Montero, Texas
April 26 - OF Jamal Strong, Seattle
May 2 - RHP Juan Rincon, Minnesota
July 8 - RHP Rafael Betancourt, Cleveland
Aug. 1 - 1B Rafael Palmeiro, Baltimore
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