Nelson Cruz Says Stomach Bug "No Excuse" for Steroid Use, Blames Stomach Bug for Steroid Use
It's been more than six months since our sister paper in Miami broke the news that Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, who was listed in patient logs as "Mohamad," was a customer of Biogenesis, a shady South Florida steroid clinic. Major League Baseball finally brought down the hammer today, suspending Cruz and 11 other ballplayers for 50 games. A 13th Biogenesis customer, admitted doper Alex Rodriguez, has already appealed his 211-game suspension.
Before talk turns to who should fill the third slot in the Rangers' batting order, it's time for Cruz's de rigueur show of contrition. He released a statement today through his attorneys fessing up to steroid use:
I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds. Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers' fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs.
Points for Cruz for taking his lumps and accepting the suspension.
Negative points for having previously denied being a Biogenesis customer or using performance-enhancing drugs, which we now know is a lie.
A few more negative points for adding the line "my illness was no excuse" immediately after a concentrated effort to use his illness as an excuse.
But hey: At least he's not A-Rod.