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Giants’ Gonzalez gets one-year suspension

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Yomiuri Giants infielder Luis Gonzalez has been suspended for one year for violating Nippon Professional Baseball’s drug policy, the league announced Monday.

Gonzalez allegedly tested positive for three types of stimulants following an April 30 game against the Hiroshima Carp at Tokyo Dome.

In light of the suspension the Giants have reportedly released Gonzalez. Acting NPB commissioner Yasuchika Negoro has said the team will not be punished.

“This is a big setback for sporting circles and what we need to do is to handle the matter properly in order to prevent something like this happening again,” Negoro told Kyodo News.

Gonzalez is the second player to be suspended under Japanese baseball’s new drug policy. Last season, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks pitcher Rick Guttormson drew a 20-game suspension after Finasteride was found in his system during a July 13 test.

Finasteride is not a performance-enhancing drug but can be used as a masking agent. Guttormson said the chemical was a part of a hair-growth product he was using.

The pitcher returned to action in September with no further consequences.

Gonzalez is in his second year in Japan after batting .247 with three home runs and 12 RBIs for the Giants last season. The former Colorado Rockies player had given the Giants offense a boost early this season, batting. 307 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 32 games.