May 7th, 2009
06:26 PM ET
12 years ago

WH expresses 'disappointment' over Manny Ramirez

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The White House is disappointed with Manny Ramirez."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – News of baseball star Manny Ramirez's drug violation brought "disappointment" Thursday to Mudville and the White House.

"I think it's a disappointment to anyone who is a sports fan," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said of Ramirez's suspension.

The Los Angeles Dodgers all-star outfielder was suspended for 50 games after violating the "Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," Major League Baseball said in a prepared statement.

"It's a tragedy," Gibb said at his daily news conference. "It's a shame. My sense is, it's a great embarrassment on Major League Baseball and you hope that each time this happens that others will recognize, if they are doing it, and stop. Regrettably, it happens over and over again."

Ramirez said he would accept the suspension, but noted it was an honest mistake that he took the banned substance.

"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue," Ramirez said in a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association. "He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons. "I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I'm sorry about this whole situation."

Ironically, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Seattle, Washington, Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske as the new head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.The

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