Gonzalez handed walking papers by Yomiuri for doping

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TOKYO, June 6 (18:27) Kyodo

Venezuelan infielder Luis Gonzalez, who has been handed a
one-year suspension due a doping violation, was released from the
Yomiuri Giants on Friday.

The Central League club filed for the termination of the
28-year-old's contract with the baseball commissioner's office after
a drug test conducted by Nippon Professional Baseball had found that
Gonzalez had taken three banned stimulants.

The suspension, which went into effect on May 26, was for taking
stimulants clobenzorex, amphetamine and parahydroxyamfetamine, which
are on the list of banned substances in Japanese baseball.

Gonzalez later appealed against the one-year ban to an
anti-doping special committee and his side argued his innocence on
Wednesday, demanding that medication he was using be re-tested.

Yomiuri has submitted to the anti-doping committee a letter from
Gonzalez and a drug he has used regularly to treat rheumatism, which
NPB already knew was not a banned substance.

Gonzalez argues the punishment is too harsh and that he did not
intentionally take any banned substances.

A former Colorado Rockies player who joined Yomiuri in 2007,
Gonzalez hit .307 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 32 games this season
before being removed from the top-team roster on May 23. He has a
.283 career average, five homers and 29 RBIs in Japan.

Gonzalez is the second player to receive a suspension for doping
after NPB began full-fledged drug tests last year.

Last August, Softbank right-hander Rick Guttormson was suspended
for 20 days for the use of finasteride, which was contained in the
hair-growing agent he had been taking for about two years.

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