NEW YORK -- Former Giants reliever Justin Dowdy was suspended Wednesday after refusing to take a drug test.
The 2001 18th-round Draft pick is currently a free agent but will miss the first 50 games of the 2012 season upon signing with an organization. Refusing to take a test is considered a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
According to Dowdy's Twitter account, the southpaw said on Feb. 27 that he would be playing this coming season for the independent league team in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Dowdy, 28, is the third player to be suspended this year for refusing to take a test. He appeared in 48 games last season between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Fresno, going 6-6 with a 3.92 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.
The lefty from San Diego was originally drafted by the White Sox in 2001 but later signed as a free agent with Oakland in 2007. He pitched in the independent American Association before signing with Tampa Bay in 2010, where he saw time at Double-A Montgomery. He was selected in the Rule 5 Draft in 2010 year by the San Francisco Giants.
Dowdy is the 17th player to be suspended this year for violating the Minor League drug program. Free agents Smaily Borges and Jorge Navarrete were also banned 50 games for not participating in drug testing.