Thu, Nov 29, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Former Colorado Rockies pitcher Serafini banned

AFP , NEW YORK

Major League Baseball's disciplinary officials have slapped former Colorado Rockies pitcher Dan Serafini with a 50-game ban for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Serafini, a free agent, blamed the positive test on a Japanese doctor who treated him while he was playing baseball in Asia.

"I suffered two significant injuries that limited my playing time to seven games in 2006 and nine games in 2007," Serafini said.

"While trying to accelerate the healing process of these injuries, I took substances that were prescribed for me by a doctor in Japan.

"What I did not know at the time was that these substances would cause me to test positive once I returned to the US.

"I have not taken these or any banned substances since returning to the US and signing with the Colorado Rockies organization in July," Serafini said.

Serafini appeared in just three games this past season with the National League champion Rockies, posting a 54.00 ERA in one-third of an inning.

The lefthander spent most of the season in the minors.

The journeyman pitcher said he would not seek treatment from an overseas doctor again.

"I have learned that a major leaguer should only rely on medical care provided by US-based doctors," he said.

A San Francisco native, Serafini broke into the major leagues in 1996 with the Minnesota Twins and has had stints with the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds, appearing in 104 games.

Serafini has played parts of seven seasons and owns a career record of 15-16 with a 6.04 ERA in 104 games -- 33 starts.

Asian OLYMPIC Qualifiers

In yesterday's preliminaries for the Asian Olympic Baseball Qualifiers, it was: Pakistan 5, Thailand 3; Philippines 4, Hong Kong 1.

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