Colorado Rockies minor league catcher Humberto Cota was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Cota was penalized under the Major League Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, even though he has not been on a major league roster since June 15 2007, when he was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The reason he was suspended under the MLB plan rather than the minor league program wasn't announced as part of the league’s obligation to release the player’s name.
In a statement issued by the MLB Players’ Association, Cota denied that he had tried to cheat.
"I want to make it clear that I did not use any banned substances in order to improve my performance. In July 2007, I had season-ending surgery performed on my left shoulder. During this past winter, while I was a free agent, my shoulder was slow to heal. I took substances that were prescribed for me by a doctor in Mexico."
"I believed I was taking anti-inflammatory medication that would help my shoulder heal. What I did not know at the time was that these substances would cause me to test positive under MLB's drug policy. I have learned that I should only rely on medical care provided by U.S.-based doctors. I apologize to my family, my teammates, the fans of Major League Baseball and the Rockies organization. I know I will be more careful in the future."