Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz is currently serving a 50-game ban for suspected PED use. (Harry How/Getty Images)
Suspended Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz said it was not his choice to decline to appeal a 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs and that the decision was “out of my hands.”
Cruz was one of 13 players suspended for their links to the Biogenesis Clinic but is eligible to return for the postseason if the Rangers make the playoffs.
"My first thought was to appeal, and right up to the last day I told [the Rangers] my decision was to appeal. That was my plan. It’s hard to explain it, but at the end it wasn’t my decision. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. It came out of my hands," Cruz said to USA Today. "It was so hard because I knew something worse could happen to me. If I wasn’t a free agent, it would have been different. It’s a totally different situation.
The Rangers are 22-21, including 5-15 in September, since Cruz began his 50-game suspension.
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They begin this week 1.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the second wild card berth in the American League.
"It's so hard, you can't explain it in words," Cruz said. "There's nothing worse than seeing your teammates battle knowing you can't help. I'm not even on the bench or even around. I try to text them and stuff and try to motivate the best I can. There's nothing else I can do."