Dominican baseball players getting busted for performance enhancing drugs has been an ongoing issue, since the MLB implemented it's new drug testing program. The most famous incidence is of course Domincian baseball player Manny Ramirez receiving two suspensions and abruptly retiring after the second 100 game suspension. The Dominican Baseball Guy recently blogged about two Dominican prospects in the Twins system getting suspended for performance enhancing drugs.
Dominican baseball players are under a lot of pressure to produce, more so than most American players. In many cases young Dominican players have the hopes of their whole family riding on their abilities as baseball players.
Furthermore, young Dominican players are often pressured from their trainers, also known as buscones in the Dominican Republic. Buscones get a bad wrap for only looking out for themselves, to the detriment of their players, but all the buscones that the Dominican Baseball Guy knows are truly out for the best interest of their players, not solely trying to make money off their players.
With that caveat mentioned, their are probably trainers that give their players banned supplements without the knowledge of the players. The Dominican Baseball Guy would venture to guess that in many cases the buscones themselves do not even know a particular substance is banned. Also, many drugs that require a subscription from a doctor are available over the counter in the Dominican Republic.
So, the classic, "I did not know that I put that in my body" excuse actually holds some weight when it comes to Dominican baseball players and performance enhancing drugs. With all that said, the list of banned substances is surely made readily available to all players in the majors and minors, and the Dominican baseball players always have the option to ask a staff trainer about a particular product.
While the Dominican Baseball Guy feels for young Dominican players like Guerrero that get suspended, it is up to them to not put these banned products in their body, despite much of the deck being stacked against them.
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suspended for performance enhancing drugs, photo by shgmom56 on Flickr