Catcher Teagarden suspended 80 games for drug violation

NEW YORK (AP) Former major league catcher Taylor Teagarden, among the athletes accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in a December report by Al Jazeera, was suspended for 80 games on Friday by Major League Baseball.

In its announcement, MLB said Teagarden violated the big league drug program but did not specify the nature of the violation.

Al Jazeera accused several high-profile athletes of using performance-enhancing drugs, among them Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard, Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and then Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning denied the allegations, and William Burck, a lawyer for Howard and Zimmerman, called the charges ''outright lies.''

Al Jazeera broadcast video of Teagarden talking about taking a banned substance called Delta-2.

Greg Bouris, a spokesman for the Major League Baseball Players Association, said the union had no comment. Teagarden's lawyer, David Cornwell, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

A member of Texas' 2005 NCAA championship team, Teagarden was selected by the Texas Rangers in the third round of that year's amateur draft. He has a .202 batting average with 21 homers and 70 RBIs in eight seasons with the Rangers (2008-11), Baltimore (2012-13), the New York Mets (2014) and the Chicago Cubs (2015).

The 32-year-old Teagarden played eight games with the Cubs last year and spent the majority of the season at Triple-A Iowa. He became a free agent in October when he refused an outright assignment to the minors.

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