Cleveland Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte accepted responsibility for his failed drug test which resulted in an 80-game suspension, but says he’s unaware of how the performance-enhancing drug entered his body.
“As a grown man, I’m taking all the responsibility for whatever was found in my body,” Almonte said, according to Hayden Grove of the Associate Press. “I’m just trying to think and figure out what it is. For now, I don’t really have any idea where it came from.”
The 26-year-old, who hit .261 with five home runs in 51 games with the Indians last year, tested positive for anabolic steroid Boldenone. Better known by it’s trade name of Equipoise, Boldenone is a veterinary-grade steroid typically used on horses that increases testosterone levels and decreases estrogenic nature.
Almonte said he was surprised to hear the news from MLB, and that it was difficult to present his suspension to his teammates. “My responsibility now is to work as hard as I can to get ready and help my team whenever they need me back,” he said. “I hope this distraction doesn’t hurt the team and one of the most important things right now for me is that the team keeps doing what they’re supposed to.”
Team manager Terry Francona the news was equally stunning to him. The Tribe’s manager spoke at length with the outfielder after his setback. Francona confirmed that he and the Indians would be supportive of Almonte and be alongside him as he works through the situation.
“Your team’s a little bit like a family and things don’t always go the way they’re supposed to and people make mistakes,” Francona said. “Through thick and thin, through good and bad, we’ll try to be there for him as much as we can.”
Almonte was a candidate to begin this season as a starter, replacing Michael Brantley, who is will sit out with a shoulder injury. The suspended outfielder will continue to take part in spring training, but will not participate in games and workouts.