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Gooden probation violation sentencing Wednesday

4/4/2006 - MLB

TAMPA, Fla. -- Former star pitcher Dwight Gooden faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday for violating probation.

Prosecutors said the 41-year-old Gooden violated probation last month by using cocaine. Gooden admitted to a probation officer he
had used the drug and has been in jail since. He was serving three
years of probation for speeding away from a police officer during a
drunken driving traffic stop last year.

In November, he apologized to the court when he pleaded guilty to a felony count of fleeing police, misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and obstruction and to an unrelated charge of hitting his girlfriend.

As part of his probation, Gooden was ordered to stay away from alcohol, drugs and bars, and to submit to a minimum of three random
urine tests a week. He also spent two months in an inpatient
treatment facility for alcohol and drug addiction.

Gooden was the 1984 Rookie of the Year and 1985 NL Cy Young
winner while with the New York Mets. He went 194-112 with a 3.51
ERA before retiring in 2001. He also pitched for the New York
Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

During his playing days, Gooden was suspended for 60 days in 1994 for testing positive for cocaine while with the Mets. He tested positive for cocaine again while on suspension and was sidelined for the 1995 season.