Sanchez worked out on his own on Opening Day

Updated: April 4, 2005, 8:04 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay outfielder Alex Sanchez began serving his 10-day suspension for violating baseball's new policy on performance-enhancing drugs, working out on his own Monday at the team's minor league camp.

"He's out at the complex staying in shape," manager Lou Piniella said before the Devil Rays faced the Toronto Blue Jays in their season opener. "We thought that would be the best approach."

Sanchez became the first player publicly identified for violating the sport's stricter drug rules Sunday but insisted he has never used steroids. The suspension covers eight games and will cost him $32,787 of his $600,000 salary.

The outfielder tested positive for an unspecified substance, and blamed the result on something he bought over the counter.

Under the new policy that took effect last month, steroids and other performance-enhancing substances are the only drugs to draw a 10-day suspension. Baseball officials and the players' union agreed they would not disclose the exact substance for which a player tests positive.

Sanchez's locker had been cleaned out when players arrived at Tropicana Field for Monday's game. His name also had been removed from the stall, although it was later returned.

Sanchez signed with Tampa Bay on March 19 after being released by Detroit. He was drug tested last month while with the Tigers.

Sanchez had been set to start on opening day. He was replaced in Monday's lineup by Chris Singleton.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press