Mike Cameron To Sit Out 25 Games

Center fielder Mike Cameron received a 25-game suspension for failing his second test for banned stimulants, Major League Baseball announced today. He'll sit out the first 25 games of the 2008 season.

In a statement issued through his agent, Cameron attributed the failed test to a tainted nutritional supplement. His first positive test resulted only in counseling.

The 34-year-old Cameron, who played for the Padres in 2007, enters free agency after completing the option year on the 3-year, $19.5 million deal he signed with the Mets in 2004. He earned $7 million.

A three-time Gold Glove winner, Cameron batted .242/.328/.431 with 21 home runs and 18 steals for the Padres, who lost a one-game Wild Card playoff to the Rockies. A thumb injury caused Cameron to miss the season's final week, and limited him to the bench in the Wild Card play-in game.

Cameron, an 18th-round pick by the White Sox in 1991, joins Tigers infielder Neifi Perez as the only players to incur a suspension for a failed stimulants test. Perez failed three tests, in fact, resulting in an 80-game suspension.