Daniel Rios, a pitcher that Tokyo Yakult brought in from Korea to fill the very large gap in the starting rotation left by Seth Greisinger (currently 6-6, 4.20 ERA with Yomiuri), has received a one-year suspension for doping. The suspension is in effect until June 27th, 2009.
Rios was dropped from the first team on June 2nd after going 2-7 in 11 appearances (64 1/3 innings) and compiling a 5.46 ERA, so this suspension doesn’t help his cause very much. The demotion came after his first positive test on May 21 of this year.
Traces of hydroxystanozolol were found in his test sample, and a second test came back positive one month later. Hydroxystanozolol is a red flag for the anabolic steroid stanozolol, the same steroid that got Ben Johnson stripped of his 100m gold medal in the 1988 summer Olympics, and Rios becomes the third player in NPB history to be suspended for doping.
Stanozolol (or Winstrol) can be both injected and taken orally in pill form. It has featured prominently in several doping scandals as of late. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Big Brown have all seen their names tied to its use.
Many will argue that steroids had little positive influence on Rios’ performance when pitching for Tokyo, but he will probably be dismissed shortly. The Yomiuri Giants wasted very little time in terminating its contract with infield and in-form utility man, Luis Gonzalez, earlier this season.