I was watching the Yomiuri Giants game on TV tonight when the announcers had mentioned that the man on the mound, Mark Burnside, replaced Luis Gonzalez on the roster. The initial report was that Gonzalez had injured his leg and was placed on the disabled list. But then shortly thereafter, a news update revealed that Gonzalez was going to be suspended for a year after testing positive for clobenzorex, amphetamine, and p-hydroxyamphetamine.
1 FULL YEAR.
Talk about a stiff penalty.
The announcers sounded shocked and somewhat disappointed that Gonzalez tested positive. As far as I know, it's only the second known case of a player testing positive in the NPB. The other incident involved pitcher Rick Guttormson and his hair growth products, which contained Finasteride. Since the usage was legitimate, the league only suspended Guttormson for 20 days.
(It sort of makes me wonder how the league will react when / if a Japanese player ever test positive.)
The Yomiuri Giants are currently seeking out the possibility of canceling his contract outright. Whether or not that will fly I'm not sure, but the Giants will most certainly release him regardless.
It's really a shame because Gonzalez was actually doing an ok good job with the Giants so far this season -- in 32 games he was batting .307 with 2 homers and 17 ribs (778 OPS). Fortunately for the Giants Burnside pitched well tonight (5 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 1 BB) and might end up making Gonzalez an afterthought.