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Ex-Cub Marlon Byrd hit with 50-game drug suspension

Ex-Cubs outfielder MarlByrd received 50-game suspensifrom MLB for testing positive performance-enhancing drugs. | AP

Ex-Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd received a 50-game suspension from MLB for testing positive to performance-enhancing drugs. | AP

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Updated: June 25, 2012 4:26PM

Former Cubs outfielder and All-Star Marlon Byrd has been suspended by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s drug policy.

Byrd was traded to the Boston Red Sox in May but was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on June 12.

Reports say the former Cub tested positive for the drug Tamoxifen, which is used in the treatment of breast cancer in women. It is an estrogen-blocking drug used most often to treat estrogen-related forms of breast cancer, but with powerful side effects.

The drug is said to be used to counter some of the effects of steroid use.

“I made an inexcusable mistake,” Byrd said in a statement. “Several years ago, I had surgery for a

condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance enhancement reasons.

“I am mortified by my carelessness and I apologize to everyone who loves this game as I do. I will serve my suspension, continue to work hard and hope that I am given an opportunity to help a club win later this season.”

Byrd is a free agent but would face a 50-game suspension if he were to sign with a club.

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