Josh Hamilton Allegedly Relapses, Faces Likely Suspension

Los Angeles Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton has allegedly violated Major League Baseball’s drug policy and could face a suspension of 15-25 games.

Hamilton allegedly used cocaine and alcohol in violation of his drug-treatment program. On Wednesday in New York, Hamilton met with MLB officials to discuss a disciplinary issue after reporting his violation to MLB himself, according to the Angels.

The terms of MLB’s drug policy stipulate that the first time a player violates the drug treatment’s program, he must be suspended for at least 15 games but not more than 25.

Hamilton has battled drug issues for years. Suspended three times for violating drug policy in the minor leagues, he missed 30 days in 2004, then a further violation resulted in a full season suspension, and then another positive test in 2005 yielded another suspension the following year. Since he made his way back to baseball in 2007, he has had three relapses including the current one. But the first two only involved alcohol, not drugs. They occurred in January of 2009 and January of 2012. The latest relapse, according to sources, occurred before his offseason shoulder surgery.

Hamilton won the MVP in 2010, and led the Texas Rangers to consecutive World Series appearances. His five-year, $125 million deal, signed before the 2013 season, still entitles him to $90 million. Last year, he only appeared in 89 games, batting .263 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI.


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