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Originally published Friday, February 22, 2013 at 9:45 PM

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Gonzalez says he passed drug test

Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez passed the drug test Major League Baseball administered to him in late January, Gonzalez said...

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Not wanting to sound overly caustic and pessimistic, but passing a drug test these days... MORE
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VIERA, Fla. — Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez passed the drug test Major League Baseball administered to him in late January, Gonzalez said Friday at spring training. The players union informed Gonzalez the tests on his blood and urine had returned negative, Gonzalez said.

On Jan. 31, two days after a report in the Miami New Times connected him to performance-enhancing drugs purchased from the Biogenesis clinic in South Florida, MLB sent investigators to his home to drug test him.

MLB is allowed to test players under a "reasonable cause" provision in the joint drug prevention agreement. If MLB believes a player in the previous 12 months used, possessed or distributed PEDs, officials notify the player and can subject him to drug testing.

"Like I said before, I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs and I never will," Gonzalez said. "Two days after the story broke, I was tested for blood and urine, and both came out negative, like I expected. Throughout my entire career, it's been like that. I look forward to handling this with MLB and putting this behind me."

MLB has not officially absolved Gonzalez, and the league does not require a failed drug test to suspend a player. But recent signs, even before Friday's revelation from Gonzalez, have pointed to Gonzalez avoiding the 50-game suspension that would come with any proof he used, bought or distributed PEDs.

This week, ESPN, citing two sources, reported that Gonzalez had not purchased PEDs from the clinic. Citing a document, ESPN reported that Gonzalez had paid $1,000 for dietary supplements. Gonzalez's father, Max, told the New Times in its original report that he bought supplements from Biogenesis.

Notes

• Yankees closer Mariano Rivera threw 25 pitches in Tampa, Fla., in his first batting practice session since knee surgery last year and said he was happy with the results.

"It feels great to be on the mound," said Rivera, who expects to throw BP one or two more times. "Basically, just wanted to see hitters. I'm excited. Build up, and we'll go from there."

Mike Carp is eager for his new start with his new team in a new season, and seems ready to finally forget the nightmare that was 2012 when he was injured on opening day and had three stints on the disabled list.

The Mariners traded him to the Boston Red Sox this week.

"When you think about the tradition, everything that goes on, it's one of baseball's premier teams," he said. "Just excited to be a part of it. Look forward to the opportunity that I get here."

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