Reds Minor League third baseman Robert Ramirez received a 50-game suspension Friday after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said Ramirez, 21, was suspended without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective at the start of the 2014 season.
Ramirez split the 2013 season between Rookie-level Billings and Class A Dayton, hitting .207 with four homers, 30 RBIs, a .243 on-base percentage and three stolen bases in 82 games, mostly with Dayton. He spent the 2012 season with Billings after a pair of stints in the Dominican Summer League.
In 234 career games over four seasons, the infielder owns a .217 average with nine homers and 91 RBIs.
Nandrolone, commonly sold as Deca-Durabolin, is a drug used to promote muscle growth, bone density and red blood cell production. In sports, former Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones admitted to using it, and retired Major Leaguers Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were alleged to have used it.
Ramirez is the 56th player to be suspended for violating the Minor League drug program in 2013 and the second from the Dayton roster -- MLB suspended Dragons right-hander Daniel Tuttle for 100 on May 8 after testing positive for a drug of abuse.