Archive > 27 June 2008

Updated: Rios Caught Doping

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Updated again, June 28: CNNSI reports that the banned substance was hydroxystanozorol.

Updates, June 28:Rios was indeed released by Yakult (link in English). Sanspo has published an interview with Rios, in which he apologized and admitted getting an supplement injection, but says he didn’t know it was a banned substance. The substance he tested positive for still hasn’t been released, so

Bobby Valentine commented on the situation: “Rather than randomly selecting two players (to test), we should test everyone. Testing everyone would be fair. If there are violations, of course it would be fine to penalize them” (Edit, June 29: corrected translation).

According to this report in Sanspo, Yakult Swallows starter Daniel Rios has been discovered to be using banned substances and suspended for one year. The article doesn’t mention what Rios was caught using, but Rios is almost certainly finished in Japan. He had already been dropped from the Swallows’ active roster for performance reasons earlier in the month.

I don’t know much about Rios, except that he had several successful seasons in Korea. I think he might have had one or two seasons as the KBO’s top pitcher, but I’ll have to look that up. I do remember that he turned down a better offer from his team in Korea to join Yakult this season. I think his goal had been to prove himself on a one-year deal, then go for a bigger contract.

Rios is the third player in NPB history to fail a drug test. Giants’ infielder Luis Gonzales failed earlier this year and was immediately released. Former Yakult Pitcher Rick Guttormson’s use of Rogaine (or something similar) triggered a failed drug test as few years ago as it’s considered a masking agent. This was before the current doping rules were in place and he got away with a brief suspension. Guttormson still pitches in Japan, now with Softbank.

Hanshin’s Jeff Williams and Orix’s Alex Cabrera were named in the notorious Mitchell Report, but neither has ever failed a drug test. Hanshin’s management has notably come out in support of Williams.

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Pro Yakyu Resumes

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NPB resumed league play last night after a short post-interleague break.

Pacific League
Nippon Ham 3 – Orix 2 — Yu Darvish struck out 10 and walked 3 over seven innings to pick up the win. Former Twin Micheal Nakamura picked up the save, while former Angel Ramon Ortiz went six innings a losing effort for Orix.

Saitama Seibu Lions 4 – Chiba Lotte Marines 1 — Breakout starter Kazuyuki Hoashi held the Marines to one run over 7+ innings and Craig Brazell knocked in three runs in Seibu’s win. Lotte phenom starter Yoshihisa Naruse surrendered four earned runs in five innings, seeing his personal night game winning streak end at 14.

Softbank Hawks 3 – Rakuten Golden Eagles 2 — Infielder Yuichi Honda won it in the ninth for Softbank with a Sayonara hit to center, knocking in catcher Katsuki Yamazaki. C.J. Nitkowski took the win in relief for Softbank.

Central League
Chunichi Dragons 2 – Yokohama BayStars 1 — MLB prospect Kenshin Kawakami held the BayStars scoreless over seven innings, and the Dragons scored twice on Yokohama’s bullpen for the win. On the plus side for Yokohama, rookie starter Futoshi Kobayashi pitched well, giving up one earned run in seven innings of work.

Hiroshima Carp 6 – Yomiuri Giants 1 — Rookie hurler Kenta Maeda shutdown the Giants over seven innings, and first baseman Kenta Kurihara lead a well-balanced attack with his eigth homerun of the year. Shinnosuke Abe homered in a losing effort for the Giants.

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