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Byrd failed drug test

Tue., June 26, 2012

Marlon Byrd, a free agent recently released by the Red Sox, tested positive for the banned substance Tamoxifen. (Associated Press)
Marlon Byrd, a free agent recently released by the Red Sox, tested positive for the banned substance Tamoxifen. (Associated Press)

Outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball on Monday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Major League Baseball said Byrd tested positive for Tamoxifen, which can reduce side effects of steroid use and increase testosterone.

“I made an inexcusable mistake,” Byrd said in a statement released by the players’ association. “Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons.”

Byrd is currently a free agent, and will be placed on the restricted list for the duration of his suspension, which began immediately. He started the season with the Cubs and was dealt to the Red Sox on April 21. He was designated for assignment by Boston on June 9 and released four days later.

The 34-year old has played for five teams in 11 major league seasons and is a career .278 hitter.

Clearing the bases

The Dodgers have all but ruled out injured slugger Matt Kemp for next month’s All-Star game in Kansas City. General manager Ned Colletti calls it a “long shot” for Kemp to play, with the outfielder still recovering from a strained left hamstring. … The Orioles have released infielder Miguel Tejada from his minor league contract at his request. Tejada signed with Baltimore last month and was assigned to Triple-A Norfolk, where he hit .259 with no homers and 18 RBIs in 36 games. … The Reds activated center fielder Drew Stubbs from the disabled list, restoring their everyday lineup to full strength. Stubbs went on the DL June 15 after pulling muscles in his left side during a swing. … The Twins have placed closer Matt Capps on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. … The Cleveland Indians have optioned Jeanmar Gomez to Triple-A Columbus, opening a spot in their starting rotation that will go to Zach McAllister. … New York Mets manager Terry Collins says right-hander Bobby Parnell will serve as the team’s closer while Frank Francisco is on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.

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