Volquez suspension doesn't really hurt Reds

The suspension of Edinson Volquez is an occasion in which the player is held accountable for his actions without hurting the team. Volquez is currently on the 60-day disabled list and isn’t expected to join the Reds until late-July at the earliest. On Tuesday, he was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Volquez will be able to serve his suspension while on the disabled list, but will do so without pay. He will lose approximately $120,000 of his $450,000 salary.

Volquez issued a statement admitting that he took a banned substance, but denied any ill intent.

“Prior to the conclusion of last season, my wife and I sought medical advice in Cincinnati with the hope of starting a family. As part of my consultation with the physician, I received certain prescribed medications to treat my condition. As a follow up to our original consultation, my wife and I visited another physician in our home city in the Dominican Republic this past off-season. This physician also gave me certain prescribed medications as part of my treatment. Unfortunately, I now know that the medication the physician in the Dominican gave me is one that is often used to treat my condition, but is also a banned substance under Major League Baseball’s drug policy. As a result, I tested positive when I reported to spring training.

Although I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and have chosen not to challenge my suspension, I want to assure everyone that this was an isolated incident involving my genuine effort to treat a common medical issue and start a family. I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career. I am embarrassed by this whole situation and apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Reds Organization for being a distraction and for causing them any difficulty. I simply want to accept the consequences, learn from the mistake, and continue to strive to be the best person and baseball player I can be.”

I commend Major League Baseball and the effort to punish players that test positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Volquez definitely deserves to be suspended. However, if his explanation is true, some action needs to be taken so this does not happen again.

Athletes are still human beings that periodically require medical attention for issues other than injuries related to their sport. There has to be a way to treat the issue in question with Volquez without violating the league’s drug policy.

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