SAN DIEGO - Mike Cameron, the Padres' Gold Glove center fielder, was suspended for the first 25 games of next season on Wednesday after testing positive a second time for a banned stimulant.
Cameron, a native of LaGrange who plans to file for free agency, said he believes he took a tainted supplement.
'The one thing I wanted to make sure was explained is, no steroids,' Cameron told AM 1090, the Padres' flagship radio station. 'I never took nothing like that before in my life. That would be 50 games, and that would affect me a whole lot more.'
Cameron issued a statement through his agent, saying doctors for the players' association helped him narrow down what triggered the positive test.
'After all of the analysis and testing, I can only conclude that a nutritional supplement I was taking was tainted,' he said. 'Unfortunately, the actual supplement is gone, and therefore cannot be tested. Without the actual supplement in hand, the rules are clear, and I must accept the suspension.'
Players who initially test positive for a stimulant receive counseling. Suspensions begin only with a second positive test.
'Mike has been a valuable member of the Padres over the last two seasons who has been respected for his contributions on the field, his stature in the clubhouse and his involvement in the San Diego community,' Padres CEO Sandy Alderson said in a statement. 'Accordingly, the Padres are extremely disappointed that Mike has tested positive for a stimulant banned by MLB's drug policy. Nonetheless, the Padres staunchly support that policy and hope that Mike's suspension serves as a reminder that performance-enhancing drugs have no place in professional sports.'