Cubs' Soto tested positive for marijuana

Updated: June 26, 2009, 6:49 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto said he has been informed by the International Baseball Federation that he tested positive for marijuana at the World Baseball Classic.

"While I fully acknowledge my inappropriate behavior, I want to assure my fans and my family that this was an isolated incident," Soto said in a statement released by the Cubs. "I do not say this to minimize or deflect from my conduct and I fully understand the ramifications of my actions. I have and will accept any and all consequences.

"I am fully dedicated to the game of baseball and my teammates, and I apologize for any distraction and embarrassment this may cause them."

Neither the Cubs nor Major League Baseball will penalize Soto, according to sources contacted by ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.

MLB does not regularly test for marijuana since it's not considered a performance-enhancing drug, according to a players' association spokesman interviewed by Levine. But if MLB has suspicion that a player is involved with a drug like marijuana, it can ask for that player to be tested. This incident may open Soto to future testing. And if the result of the MLB test is positive, the league can fine and/or suspend the player.

The Cubs released a statement while playing the Tigers in Detroit.

"Geovany assured the organization this was an isolated incident and a misstep in judgment that will not be repeated," the statement read. "Though surprised and disappointed, the club supports Geovany as he takes responsibility for his actions and accepts the consequences."

After Thursday's 6-5 loss to Detroit, Soto told reporters, "I'd appreciate if this is the last time we talk about it. It's embarrassing."

Soto played for Puerto Rico in the WBC. Last year, he was voted National League Rookie of the Year after hitting .285 with 23 home runs and 86 RBIs and starting the All-Star Game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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