Franklin slapped with 10-day suspension

Originally Published: August 2, 2005
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Seattle Mariners pitcher Ryan Franklin was suspended 10 days for violating his sport's steroids policy, the eighth major-league player caught under tougher drug rules enacted this year.

Ryan Franklin

The announcement Tuesday came one day after Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro was suspended after testing positive for steroids.

Franklin said he has "no idea" how he tested positive.

"There's got to be a flaw in the system," he said Tuesday before the Mariners played the Tigers at Comerica Park. "I have no clue. I tested in [early] May and again three weeks later. The first was positive, the second was negative."

The pitcher said he first was told of his positive test in May -- and "thought it was a joke" -- then appealed and appeared before two arbitration committees.

"I'm one of the guys who was supportive of strong testing," Franklin said. "I believe I got to the big leagues on God-given talent, and that's how I've stayed here. It's hard to swallow."

"I know deep in my heart that I have never done anything like that."

Franklin, a 32-year-old right-hander, is 6-11 this season with a 4.61 ERA in 22 games, including 20 starts.

"We are very disappointed to learn this news," Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly said. "But at the direction of Major League Baseball, and, following its rules, we are not able to comment further."

Manager Mike Hargrove declined to comment before Tuesday night's game.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Franklin pitched for the gold-medal winning U.S. team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, going 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in four appearances. He was an Oklahoma All-State baseball player at Spiro and played two seasons at Seminole State College, going 20-0 before signing with the Mariners in 1993.

Franklin would not discuss what he tested positive for. But he did say that he took supplements he bought at a nutrition store. Franklin said he gave up all supplements after the positive test. After that, he said he tested negative.

"I'll never take [supplements] again. ... I won't even take a vitamin until I'm done with baseball," he said. "I hate what's happened for the organization, for me, and my family. I'm done with taking anything."

Suspensions for Testing Positive
For Banned Substance
Date Player Team
Nov. 2 Matt Lawton, OF Yankees
Oct. 18 Felix Heredia, LHP Mets
Oct. 4 Carlos Almanzar, RHP Rangers
Sept. 7 Michael Morse, SS Mariners
Aug. 2 Ryan Franklin, P Mariners
Aug. 1 Rafael Palmiero, 1B Orioles
July 8 Rafael Betancourt, P Indians
May 2 Juan Rincon, P Twins
April 26 Jamal Strong, OF Mariners
April 20 Agustin Montero, P Rangers
April 11 Jorge Piedra, OF Rockies
April 4 Alex Sanchez, OF Devil Rays

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press