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Braves' Cruz suspended for stanozolol use06/16/2009 6:44 PM ET
Major League Baseball
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Atlanta Braves Minor League pitcher Rafael Cruz has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The suspension of Cruz is effective immediately. He is the third Triple-A player to be suspended this season, joining Pablo Ozuna (Phillies) and Agustin Murillo (Diamondbacks).
Cruz signed a one-year deal with the Braves as a Minor League free agent on Jan. 6, 2009 and is currently a member of Triple-A Gwinnett of the International League. He went 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 22 appearances for Double-A Mississippi this spring before pitching in 8 2/3 innings for Gwinnett, most recently on June 15.
Cruz spent the 2008 season in Japan with the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central League but was released on July 17 without pitching due to a long-term injury.
The 6-foot-2 Dominincan right-hander eventually pitched for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League this past winter, where he went 1-0 with an 8.76 ERA with a save in 14 relief appearances.
Cruz, 32, was originally signed by the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 1995 as a catcher. He was released by Texas in 2000.